We have moved into October, Harvest is over and we; the Church are starting new mission with Messy Church on the 31st
We all need to start handing out information and inviting families we think would enjoy an afternoon with us, and thinking about helping on the day. We start at 3.30 with an hour of crafts for mums, dads, and children. Than we move into the church for a short time of praise and a story. After this we will enjoy a cooked tea together.
We did of course start to enjoy Messy Church, as a church last month, with our BBQ and Raku day. Sadly the rain drove us inside and we did not get to talk about what we were doing. So I thought that the message would work just as well in our newsletter this month.
The leaves we decorated and fired each had a verse from the Bible, there were about six different verses and each spoke about changing, or being changed. We put black metal oxides on the leaves and then poured glaze on them. They were not pretty and you had to trust, that what I had told you would happen when they were fired.
The John 15 verses are about having a deep abiding fellowship with Jesus, being Jesus friend but we cannot be Jesus disciples and friends if we do not uphold his commandments. No plant will produce fruit instantly. They have to grow and be pruned. This is also the case for believers, Prune means cleanses, once the fruit is on the vine the vinedresser cleanses the fruit of bugs and diseases. In our case this cleansing is done by the word. Jesus words are powerful.
For the branch to produce more fruit it must abide, which means dwell, to settle in, to sink deeper, into a relationship with Jesus. The way to abide in Christ is to obey; if we lovingly obey the word of God then we will produce more fruit. But not abiding in Christ has serious consequences, the person, branch, is cast out, it withers and is burnt. God the vinedresser collects all the branches that do not bear fruit and burns them. The fire here is symbolic of fiery trials or the fire at the judgment seat of Christ.
I sometimes think that when we sing the hymn refiner fire, we should think carefully about what it means. We ask to be made holy, refiner fire. In the same way the kiln changes the leaves refiners fire will change us, make us different. But we will need to go through the refiner fire to get there.