|First Grapes at Maple Grove|
"How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees in it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land. (It was the season for the first ripe grapes)" (Numbers 13:20).
A few years ago we bought some grape plants and put them in the ground. It has taken some effort: sinking posts for fencing and adding wire for the runners; applying fertilizer and mulch; combating droughts and insects. At one point we even thought two of the plants had died out. Now, finally, we are rejoicing in the "fruits" of our labor--our first grapes!!
In our daily Christian walk we plant the seeds of God's Word in our conversations with others. We nurture these relationships as we lovingly offer our support through acts of kindness. We stand by them when times are tough and when Satan attacks. In our efforts, however, it is not we but the Holy Spirit who produces the fruit of Christian faith and love. Without Christ in us, our labor is for nothing.
"I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).