United Reformed Church LogoA few weeks ago we had our regular Strawberry Cream Tea Event at our Church. It brought my attention to one of the popular summer fruits: the strawberry and its role in our lives (and it is far more than being part of cakes, smoothies, jams, puddings). - Last summer, while visiting a friend's home, I looked at one of her flower beds and recognized a unique ground covering. She had taken strawberry plants and put them in the bed and they had spread so much that they had covered the entire area.

I have since learned that strawberries are used by many people as a ground cover and as an ornamental plant. Strawberries are good for that; if permitted, they will take over a garden area and spread and spread and spread!

There is an application in this image for our Christian life as well Just as the strawberry plant will spread over an area, so our Christian influence is capable of spreading everywhere we go. It's sort of the "bloom where you are planted" idea, but it happens naturally when we are fertilized by the Holy Spirit's presence. Matthew 9:35-38 alludes to this.

"Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

As a follower of Christ, our influence can surpass our expectations. It is in the daily routine of life that our faith can make the biggest impact. Sweeter than any strawberry, as we live for Jesus in "all the towns and villages" (v. 35), we reveal Christ in a way that enables people to "Taste and see that the Lord is good..." Ps. 34:8. - If we are rooted in God’s Word, nurtured by his love we will see what Jesus sees, go where Jesus goes, and feel what Jesus feels. And just like the strawberry garden, we will be surprised at the increase.

Yours in Christ, John