We're still into 90 degree days in Augusta, GA though the weekend is forecast to see a nice drop into fall temperatures. It's the perfect time to do some yard chores in preparation for the change of seasons.
I have a large butterfly bush at the corner of our front porch. It's a lot of fun through spring and summer as it attracts butterflies and bees with those fragrant flowers, as well as putting on a great show of purple. Of course, to extend the flowers, and produce more, you've got to deadhead the plant a number of times to get the best production. Do you know about deadheading flowers? It's a maintenance job in a garden, yet it's a way of preparing for more production and extending a season.
As I'm reaching over my head to clip the multitudes of spent flowers of my butterfly bush I'm also noticing the new areas where new growth will spring to life. The bees are still working the plant, lighting on the flowers as I'm working. I'm clipping at a living plant hoping to create more life and extend the summer just a little longer. I'm sometimes cutting off flowers that are still pretty but on the tale end of vibrant. I'm cutting with tomorrow in mind, not yesterday.
My mind drifts to that familiar passage in John 15:1-2:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."
Where is God at work pruning in your world working to create more life? What must go in order for there to be more production for the Kingdom?
What does this mean for you as a Christian?
What does this mean for your church?
What does it mean for your denomination?