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Dear Faith Family,

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age,” Matthew 28:18-20.

It’s stoloniferous.  What is?  What does that mean?  What are we even talking about?

I guess I should back up and give you some context.  Maybe fifteen years or so ago, I planted a forsythia bush in our front yard for my wife.  I think her mother used to call it a “for-Cynthia”.  In any case it has thrived in the front corner of our yard in-gardened together with its own personal oak tree and some daylilies.  Fact of the matter, it was huge! 

This past spring, we decided that (like a bad hair year in the life of a teenager) the forsythia needed a trim.  Clippers in hand, I approached.  Unbeknownst to me, another preceded me.  To my dismay, an angry mother mockingbird had claimed “squatter’s rights” and was not familiar with the concept of sharing.  What’s a few more months in the life of a bad hair year?  So, I retreated and lived another day.

It was months later.  The mockingbird nest?  Vacated.  It was trim time.  I couldn’t tell where the forsythia ended and the oak tree began!

Armed with clippers, a saw, shovels, a rake, and gloves, in I went.  And I do mean in!  I came up for air (and food) on Friday.  I finished the job on Saturday.  Approximately four trashcan loads later I could actually distinguish between the forsythia and the oak tree.

The cherry on top?  I discovered something.  Forsythias are stoloniferous.  According to Pamela Doan, “When the tip of a branch touches the ground, it can root and start another bush.”  I dug up somewhere in the neighborhood of fifteen separate forsythia bushes!  That one forsythia had started its own colony!  I’m convinced that it was planning a coup attempt!

As I consider the prolificity of the forsythia, I can’t help but think about us, disciples of Christ Jesus.  Are we that determined?  When we touch those around us, do we take root and start another disciple?  Do we even recognize the people around us as gospel seed soil?  Are we looking for ways to tap into the soil of the lives of the people around us?  Are we being the gospel of grace to others?  Are we speaking the gospel of grace to others?

God, please help us be stoloniferous,
Pastor Karl