This has been a really good year for the grass in my lawn. My brother visited recently and commented that it looked like a “golf course.” Then the other day a gentleman who takes care of lawns in our neighborhood stopped by and rang our doorbell. He doesn’t cut our grass, I do that, but he does aerate it in the spring. He asked Diane if this was the same lawn or had we had the front lawn re-sodded.
I, however, know something about my lawn. Even after a robust season of growth. Even though it has looked really good week after week during the summer,…fall and winter are coming and we have a Bermuda grass lawn and that means it is soon going to go into its dormancy phase and for the winter will be a rather unattractive shade of brown. Let me just put it bluntly. Through the winter it looks dead.
Dormancy is an interesting thing to me. Something that is alive actually looks and acts like it isn’t. And in the case of my lawn it comes after a wonderful season of growth when it looks better than it has perhaps ever looked in the years we have lived in this house. It really is rather tragic. Why can’t it just keep growing and looking good?
As my dear wife will tell you, all of life to me is an illustration. And I see an illustration in my lawn of our spiritual lives and even the life of the church. Somehow it seems that it is often after we have gone through periods of great spiritual growth that we fall prey to the lure of spiritual dormancy. Our church attendance might slack off a bit. We don’t take up our Bibles as often as we used to. We fail to connect with brothers and sisters in Christ in meaningful ways. We may even experience a season of doubt and despair.
I believe we have been and are in the midst of a wonderful season of spiritual growth and enthusiasm. We came out in great numbers to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the church. All who were present acknowledge it was a glorious day of worship and fellowship. We have been faithfully reading the New Testament on a daily or near daily basis and engaging in the sermons on Sunday as we seek to dig deeper into the Word.
But now the celebration day has come and gone and on November 27th we will complete our Bible reading challenge even as we will find ourselves standing on the brink of winter and what is for the creation a season of dormancy.
Only through intentionality will we make sure that this is not a season of dormancy for each of us and for our church family. We need to keep up with the spiritual disciplines of study and prayer and Scripture reading and gathering together for worship in order to make sure our hearts do not enter into a season of dormancy. Luke paints for us a picture of the early church after they had experienced the phenomenal day we know as Pentecost. I wonder if after they had heard the sound like a mighty wind and experienced the tongues of fire dancing around the room if they might have been tempted to think “it can’t get any better than that. We need to take a break to get our feet back under us again.” But Luke writes, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer…Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42, 46-47)
There was an intentionality on their part that led to their ongoing growth. They were devoted to those things that would continue to propel them forward in their spiritual lives.
May it be so for us!
Together with you in Christ’s service,