Job 14:7 “For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. 8 Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil, 9 yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant.”
Will there be life?
I wait with anticipation…. I wait with apprehension. It’s that time of year, Spring. Right now, all my trees look dead to me. That is normal for this time of year. There is no visible life. There is no green or visible growth. There are only the skeletal bones on which some dead leave hold a tenacious grip. But it is Spring, at least soon it will be. With anticipation I look forward to the buds and the newly unfolded leaves with the first hints of color and life.
I also wait with apprehension. Last year I noticed that some of my oaks did not look happy. They looked unhealthy. They even looked like they were dying. I think some of them have oak wilt, a deadly disease. I sent a message out to Michigan State University and asked for counsel and help. They did not respond to any of my emails. So, I wait with apprehension to see if my trees will come back to life. Will there be that hint of green and the look of life?
Time will tell.
I wait with anticipation… I wait with apprehension. These days, the tree of the church does not look good; it doesn’t look healthy. It looks like it is dying. There are vestiges of life from the pre-pandemic days, but the diagnosis and the prognosis remain unknown. What does the future hold? Will the church live or will it die? Will it sprout and grow green with life? Will it, “yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant.” I do not know.
13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27
I wait with anticipation, apprehension but mostly in confidence…confidence in the Lord. The Church is the Lord’s. It was purchased with His precious blood. He gives it life through His death on the cross. Even though it might go through rough times. It will re-emerge, again and again. It will rise with the scent of the Living Water that is Jesus, Word and Sacrament. We don’t know what it will look like, but out of these dead branches will come sprouts, growth and that wonderful Spring time scent of new life that comes from the Living Water that is Christ.
We wait in Confidence, in the Lord!
“The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14
Love, Pastor Mark