Kingdom come is coming, in small yet invasive ways...

Follow along with us as each week we meet for service to those in our neighborhood, common meals, study of Jesus' teachings and how to live them, as well as Sabbath worship at the Buffalo Vineyard City Church .

Sunday, October 3, 2010


This weekend we headed out of the city and went south along the shores of Lake Erie to the vineyards of Chautauqua County. With the kids, Jess and I gathered over 40 lbs of Concord grapes for making grape juice, jelly, and pies! It was a beautiful early fall day, with the warm sun ripening the huge clusters of grapes that dripped from the vines all around us.

As I took great care to carefully pluck the grapes from the vine, not wanting to harm either the grapes or the vines, I began to think of all the hard work and care that must have gone into producing such a fruitful vineyard.

I also thought of places in scripture, mainly the Song of Songs, where a women is compared to a garden or orchard:
"You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride... Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates..."
And I also was reminded of the Genesis story, a story of a man and a garden:
"God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it."

My seven years of marriage and my dabbling in gardening and landscaping have proven that it is no coincidence that horticulture can also be called "husbandry". I am often reminded that being the kind of husband that produces a fruitful marriage takes hard work as well as a gentle touch. There are indeed many parallels between the two forms of "husbandry".

Her roots go deep, and in tending the soil I must study and learn about all that has gone into nourishing her soul over the years. I must also be careful about what I'm putting into the environment around her. Do I speak words, and have attitudes that create a hostile environment, or one that encourages growth?

Weeds come in and rob her of nourishment, and crowd her out. Have I taken the time to tend to her, or do I get distracted and pulled away by all the other demands of life? The more I have neglected her, the deeper rooted the weeds become. It often takes hard work to weed out all that has come between us.

Pruning needs to be done carefully and delicately. Sometimes there are things in her that will only produce the rotten fruits of frustration, bitterness, and insecurity. But how often do I come in with criticism and carelessly lop off more than was necessary? Could I instead be more encouraging and careful, and actually enable her to become more fruitful?

Above all she needs Light. Do I overshadow her; my darkness shading her from God's light? Or do I encourage her to recieve from the Source of life all that she needs to grow?

While husbandry does take hard work and great care, it yields such delectable fruits! As we picked in the vineyard our mouths turned blue from gobbling handfuls of grapes. In Song of Songs, the lover sings over and over of feasting on the fruits of his lover's garden. The question is, will I pay attention to her, take the time to tend to her, nuture her, and allow her all she needs be fruitful? Only then could one expect to hear the words of the Song's beloved:
"Come, my lover, let us go to the countryside, let us spend the night in the villages. Let us go early to the vineyards to see if the vines have budded, if their blossoms have opened, and if the pomegranates are in bloom — there I will give you my love."

1 comment:

  1. God bless you and Jessica as you apply thes principles in your daily lives