Saturday, December 28, 2013

What is hanging on my tree?

The tree appears awkward now, no longer adorning the room but taking up space.  Christmas has come and gone for another year.  This evergreen weeps needles from its dry and lifeless branches.  In just a few days, we will take down the ornaments, most of which have a story behind them, decorations that our daughters made years ago and ornaments chosen to remember familiar things, a bear with a fishing pole, a bike racer, and a gilded stack of Papa's famous Saturday morning pancakes. 

As in years past, I will carefully wrap up the decorations, place them in large Rubbermaid bins, and store them in the attic above the garage for another year. 

The ornaments decorate the Christmas tree.  But what hangs on my tree?  What is evident in my life year round? 

God calls us not to decorate our lives
      with accomplishments and accolades,
      performances and distractions,
but to bear fruit,
    that which only He can do in us.

Do I bear love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, and self control?
All of which have stories attached,
His purposes woven,
            His glory revealed,
     and the seeds of Life.

Fruit is the mark of His abiding grace,
not an ornament of our own doing
       but that which pleases Him,
   nurtures others
   and lasts forever.

Abide in Me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself,
unless it abides in the vine,
neither can you,
            unless you abide in Me.
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. 4-5

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