Blossoms Fall Off

He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.  John 15:1-11

In early May, apple trees are covered in apple blossoms. In order for the blossoms to become apples, they must be cross-pollinated.This means that the pollen must travel from one flower to another before fertilization can occur. Bees are responsible for this essential task. Pollen is made by the stamens of the blossom. When bees travel from blossom to blossom, they collect pollen and drop it from the stamens of one blossom onto the pistils of another blossom. The pollen travels from the sticky tips of the pistils—called the stigma—down a long tube called the “style,” and enters the ovary. It is at this point that fertilization occurs and ovules within the ovary become apple seeds. After the seeds develop, the petals from the blossoms fall off. Pruning is necessary for good health to prevent decay, to promote strength of its structure and stimulate it’s growth. As a perennial, apple trees bloom each spring and do not die in winter. The tree is always alive and active. With the living Christ as our true vine, the beauty of the blossom has its purpose, but it’s the fruit that continually feeds God’s people. By his pruning we know that we are loved.

Image Credit: Google Image

Hungry?

bread_of_life_2_136123944_stdA large crowd kept following him, …Jesus said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?’(John 6:1-14). During the holidays, my mother-in-law always seem to make enough food for 5000 people. In the years that we spent Thanksgiving at her home, I have never known her to run out of food. What was most interesting is that in addition to the many invited guests, there was always a steady flow of uninvited guests and an occasional stranger, who just happened to “show up”. Some would sit down to eat and everyone of them left with an extra plate of food (sometimes two or more) in hand as they continued on to wherever they were going when they stopped pass the house. No doubt some of them stopped because they knew she had more than enough food. When her invited guest left we also took food with us. It did not matter how many people came and left with their fill, when the clean up was done she still had enough leftover to “fill twelve baskets.” Initially this was amazing to me but eventually I came to expect this and more deeply respect her and this phenomena around feeding people. In Christ we follow because in him we believe and know there is always enough to fill our needs and often so much more. Thanks be to God!