“There either is or is not, that’s the way things are. The colour of the day. The way it felt to be a child. The saltwater on your sunburnt legs. Sometimes the water is yellow, sometimes it’s red. But what colour it may be in memory, depends on the day. I’m not going to tell you the story the way it happened. I’m going to tell it the way I remember it.” ― Mitch Glazer
Can you tell me what this is? An apple! Just one apple! Simple, isn’t it! A very shiny, a very red apple. It’s looks good and healthy, too, doesn’t it.
Yes, one beautiful red apple…..
Perhaps this one good apple, could be ten good apples, and then 100, and then 1000, even a whole church full, right up to the ceiling!
Now I want you to watch me carefully. [Cut open the apple… ] Look inside – What do you see? Seeds! Little pockets with seeds inside. And seeds can make more apples.
So, if you wanted more good apples like this one,
You would take the seeds,
Plant them in good earth,
and water them,
and feed them,
and take good care of them
Until—one day—there will be apple trees with apples of their own—hundreds and thousands of them! – maybe even a whole church full!
Jesus’ helpers on earth were just like the seeds in this apple.
When it was time for Jesus to go back to his home in heaven, he sent his helpers into the land to do his work. But first he asked his heavenly Father: “Please look after my helpers and take care of them, plant them in good earth, and make them strong while they’re walking through the land teaching about me.”
so that more and more people would grow to love Jesus,
and someday the whole world can be full of grownups and children who love Jesus and believe in Him.
In this hand I have some bean seeds. And here is a bean plant. Between the seeds and this plant quite a few things had to happen. The seeds were ready, waiting for sun and rain and good warm earth. But, first, they needed a gardener, someone to plant the seed in the warm earth, someone to see that the seed had enough of everything it needed to grow and become a healthy plant—and produce good food.
When Jesus lived on earth, he chose disciples to help him look after the beginning church—small and new, like these bean seeds. These disciples became gardeners in God’s garden of new Christians. Jesus chose them from the everyday people in the neighbourhood: ordinary fishermen like Peter and Andrew, James and John; Matthew the tax collector, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, James, Thaddeus, Simon and Judas. These ordinary men followed Jesus, and he taught them how to take care of the church and help it grow. They went with him everywhere, learning from Him and loving Him.
And those ordinary men who loved Jesus went from village to village, telling the people about Jesus. And with Jesus’ power, they made many sick people well again. And so God’s garden grew.
After Jesus went to heaven, the disciples, God’s gardeners, went on with the wonderful work. The Holy Spirit made them brave and helped them, even when the Roman high priest put Peter and John in jail for talking about Jesus’ resurrection and for making a crippled man walk again in Jesus’ name.
More and more people heard about Jesus and joined God’s garden of believers. After a while there were so many new Christians that seven more men were chosen to help look after the church—men who loved Jesus and were filled with His Spirit.
Our church still does that. We have God’s gardeners in our church, who look after it and work to keep our church healthy and growing. We call them elders and deacons. And today the elders and deacons we chose last week were added to God’s other gardeners who are already busy at work in our church.