I want to greet you on this Lord’s Day in the name of our Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Whenever you talk to people who have gardens, it doesn’t take very long to know whether they are novices or seasoned farmers. The novice spends most of his time talking about what is happening above the ground. The seasoned farmer spends most of his time talking about what is happening beneath the ground.
In the end, both men really want a good crop. That is their goal. But one realizes that good vegetables or fruit is the result of good soil and good roots. The other doesn’t really care how it happens as long as there’s stuff to show off to his neighbor in the end.
As God calls us together today as His people, He does so as a seasoned farmer who has been working and preparing and cultivating long before the fruit, or the plants, or even the garden came into existence. It is His garden, His vineyard.
There is only one vine in this garden, Jesus Christ, the true vine [John 15:1]. There is only one tree, Jesus, who is the true tree of life [Rev. 22:2]. Anything not connected to the vine or the tree soon withers and dies. But once grafted in, God sends His Holy Spirit to nourish us with the Word, water us with grace, expose the weeds of sin that entangle and choke us, and slowly but surely produce in our lives the fruit of His Spirit…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. Let us, therefore, worship Him today from the roots all the way up to the fruit. AMEN