Ephesians 4:11,15,16 – It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers. Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (NIV)
The sun was hot, not a breeze to be had. As we approached the fields of strawberries, we were informed that this field's official picking season was over in half an hour. We were told to go to their stand when we were finished picking. The field smelled like strawberry pie baking. Time and time again, clusters that looked promising from above were old and mushy from not having been picked when they had ripened. Row upon row of matured strawberries would have made for a wonderful experience of Sky High Strawberry Pie.
In the heat, I started to think of these long-gone, unpicked strawberries as mature saints, sitting in rows of church pews, with so much experience and spiritual growth untapped for others to learn from and be blessed by. Thinking about the scores of people who could have had marvellous Sky High Strawberry Pie but for that not-so-little detail of the strawberries not leaving the field, my heart flew to the youth within our churches. How wondrous it would be for them to be blessed with spiritual Sky High Strawberry Pie! If only we could do more than sit in our pews and go to our committee meetings. Oh the wonder of letting ourselves be "picked", truly befriending two or three youth, becoming an extra sister, brother, grandparent, or unofficial godparent, and mentoring the people we pledged to aid in their spiritual growth the day they were baptized!
Alas, we think that it is the job for the apostles, preachers, and other such leaders, not for us pew-sitters. But it is exactly the job for us. And as we mentor these youngsters, they too become "ripe for the picking", as a living sacrifice of love to others. We, across the generations, will have become joined and knit together as one body in Christ, doing God's bidding on earth, and not just being pew-sitters.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, hear our prayer. Each generation doesn't know how to approach the other. Open the doors of opportunity, and open our mouths in encouragement and blessing. Enable us oldsters to inspire the youngsters to have the vision You would have them embrace for their lives. May we, young and older, be a feast of loving-kindness and encouragement to all we meet. Amen.