Grassroots Grace

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Psalm 129:6 – May they be like grass on the roof, which withers before it can grow. (NIV)

Have you ever seen grass grow on a roof? I have, many times, especially back in Scotland. In the bleak countryside, one comes across old derelict cottages, abandoned decades ago, which once housed a shepherd or a crofter and his family. There's usually no front door and all the glass windows are gone. Stone has fallen upon stone, and the harsh Scottish winters have weathered what was once a pretty cottage with a garden.

Then summer comes around. Wild flowers spring up all over the place — pink and white foxgloves, golden dandelions, beautiful bluebells and scarlet poppies. The place is transformed — and there is even grass on the roof, edging its way around the slate tiles. The place has been abandoned by people, but the glorious Spirit of our Creator abounds. What was once forsaken, derelict, and lifeless has become an abundant theatre of wildlife and beauty, diversity and colour.

This happens to churches, too. A congregation can appear dead and dull, insignificant and abandoned, and then suddenly the Spirit of God touches the place, so that hearts and minds, lives and people become transformed, renewed, and re-strengthened. New people enter the doors; new ministries are born; a new hope spreads through the entire congregation. Prayers are answered and lives are healed. Friends are reconnected to God, and once-weary souls are refreshed and saved — all of them beautiful flowers in God's garden, which we call church.

This is what we should all pray for our churches — a creative showering of the Holy Spirit in worship and fellowship, ministry and mission, meaning and purpose.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the King of all creation, and we are blessed by Your mercy and grace. Transform our lives, and renew our faith. Heal our past, and strengthen our churches. Guide us, and lead us on a new journey of faith that is exciting, fulfilling, and rewarding. In Your holy name, we expectantly pray. Amen.

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John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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