Pastor Cheryl Matthews Report
Dear Friends in Christ:
I am thinking about the Gospel for this Sunday. Jesus tells the Pharisees that the kingdom of God will be taken away from them and be given to a people who produce the fruits of the kingdom. I think we have to look at the life of Jesus to understand what the fruits are. What do we see in Jesus? Love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, justice, generosity, compassion, wisdom, truth, healing, reconciliation, joy, thanksgiving, peace, obedience, humility.
We've all been given vineyards. They are the people, relationships, circumstances, and events in our lives that God has entrusted to our care. In marriage and family, in work, in church, in our daily decisions and choices, in our hopes, dreams, and concerns - all are the vineyards in which we are to reveal the presence and life of God and God's amazing grace, and in which we are to produce the fruits of the kingdom.
But often there are weeds in the vineyard - weeds that exclude us from the kingdom and that choke off the production of fruit.
Do you even struggle with perfectionism, self-doubt, and the question of whether you are good enough?
Do you ever feel like you need to be in control, be right all the time, have all the answers?
Are you carrying around grudges, anger, resentment?
Do you look at others and begin making judgements about their beliefs, choices, or Iifestyles?
Are there people in your life that you have chosen to let go of rather than to do the work of healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation?
Do you go through life on auto-pilot, going through the motions but never being present, never truly showing up?
In your life, is there more criticism and cynicism than thanksgiving and celebration?
Are you hanging onto some old guilt that you believe can't be forgiven?
If any of the above are true for you, perhaps some weeding in your vineyard is necessary so that fruits of the kingdom can be produced. I know I have to do some weeding in my garden. Thank God I don't have to do it alone! "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."
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