Yesterday, our lunchtime Fellowship Group was turned into a mini art class as we got out paper and pens in order to have a go at drawing pictures of fruit trees. This bout of creativity was inspired both by our reading on Sunday (John 15:1-17 that spoke about the need for us to stay connected to Jesus the Vine) and the apple tree recently planted by the M13 Project to reflect their fruitful work with young people in our community.
Our colourful works of art helped us to think about the different types of useful ‘fruit’ we produce in our own lives when we stay close to God and to our Christian sisters and brothers. For example, praying for one another, giving each other words of encouragement or simple acts of kindness towards those in need who might come into our church during the week needing food, advice or just some company.
It also helped us to think about the consequences of us not remaining close to God. In our Remembrance Service on Sunday, Richard’s moving description of the first time the two minutes silence was observed in Manchester in 1919 following the First World War, formed the opening of his reflection on the damaging effects of cutting ourselves off from one another (read it here). At a time when events in the news show some of our politicians wanting to exploit the fears around the differences between people, the call for both unity and the need to obey Jesus’ command that we should love one another (John 15:12) becomes all the more urgent.
But our service on Sunday didn’t just look back on the lessons that we could learn from the past. It also looked to the future when there was an opportunity for some of the younger members of our fellowship to take Communion for the first time. Having spent some time with Jenny helping these young people prepare for this rite of passage, I have been inspired by the depth of their faith, the challenge of their questions and the openness that they have to explore and understand the Christianity at a deeper level. The long term future of Brunswick Church will be in good hands if we continue to nurture this new growth and watch out for signs of the type of fruit that they have been called to bear.
Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday if you are able to join us.