Arise, Shine, Grow!


“You shall be like a watered garden. . .” — Isaiah 58:11

Our centering verses of scripture for the coming year will come from Isaiah’s beautiful song of promise and hope.

God promises that our life in Christ will be a fruitful life. The Bible is full of images of gardens and growing things, from the Garden of Eden to the garden in the New Jerusalem with trees for the healing of the nations. It is in a garden that Jesus is raised to life and God’s richest gifts are given to us.

This fall, I am meeting in gatherings with clergy across the annual conference. We are meditating on the Biblical image of the fruitfulness as we visit Biblical texts of gardens, vineyards, seeds, plants and harvests.

Have they fruit? This wonderfully Wesleyan question is always with us, urging us on, inviting us to assess our faithfulness and fruitfulness.

It is essential that we focus on three areas of growth in our life together – growth in persons gathered, growth in mission impact and growth in generosity. As we focus on evangelism, mission and stewardship, God will bless our efforts.

Let us believe the promise of God: You shall be like a watered garden.

Let us live toward a joyful “yes” to the Wesleyan question: Have they fruit?