Debbie and I have a massive bougainvillea in our backyard that is exploding with colorful blooms. This monster is literally 15 feet high and 25 feet wide. It is hard to remember that it started as a gift from a neighbor, delivered in a one gallon container.
Like I do every spring, I will prune (very carefully) this incredible plant – bush – tree – whatever it is. And if we happen to get a hard freeze this winter, as we have at times in the past, I will reduce it to ten or so stumps, each about four feet tall. It will appear as if I have murdered the bougainvillea (at least that is what my father thought the first time he helped me prune). However, once the weather begins to warm that crazy thing will start pushing out new shoots and blooms – and by this time next year it will be a monster again.
What is the secret of survival for my bougainvillea? It is the fact that it is deeply rooted and well established – so much so that I can take it almost to the ground and it will not only rebound but actually flourish and display glorious foliage.
Disciples have deep roots of faith. Disciples are well established in the truth. They can be cut down to the stump, to the point you cannot see how they can survive – and they will not only rebound but will overflow with beautiful thanksgiving. This is the testimony that Fernando and Edie Castellanos shared with us last Sunday.
This Sunday Pastor Dale will conclude the “Whatever” sermon series by putting all the “pieces” shared over the last five Sundays into one big picture of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. In preparation for our time of study this Sunday, let me encourage you to read the following verses – they are a collection of short sentences filled with powerful words (like “all”). Read these verses slowly and savor each phrase:
- Colossians 2:6-7 – deep roots, beautiful foliage
- Colossian 1:9-14 – a little expansion on the verses above
- 2 Corinthians 5:7 – a reminder that faith is the “soil” of a flourishing disciple
I look forward to gathering with you Sunday so together we can “come into His courts with thanksgiving and enter His courts with praise.”
P.S. Remember, we will have two identical Christmas Eve services at 4:00pm and 5:30pm on Wednesday, December 24.
P.S.S. There will be ONE worship service at 10:45am on Sunday, December 28.