"Be fruitful"

As a teenager, I worked in my family's market gardens. We saw some bumper crops of fruit, flowers, and vegetables. Although whatever we did called for a steady toil at times, I comforted myself with the thought that we were helping to feed the townsfolk; it was good to be serving our neighbors in this way.

Important as this effort was, I realized in later years that it was possible to serve even more fully by bringing forth fruits of a different kind. Speaking of this work, Christ Jesus said: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." Jesus goes on to show what enables us to fulfill God's spiritual purpose for us: "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:1, 2, 5).

Sap rises through the vine to the branches, giving life and nourishment. The Christ, the spirit of God, of Truth and Love, enables us to see that God gives us life. Without this understanding of the spiritual source of vitality and strength, our lives are not lived to the full, and we cannot be fruitful in the way Jesus described. Jesus knew that God, divine Love, gives only good to His children, and he showed us the way to bring forth this goodness in our day-to-day experience. Among the fruits of his labor were the healing works he performed, the lives redeemed from poverty, sickness, and sin. Speaking of the purpose of Jesus' lifework, Mary Baker Eddy writes in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "His mission was to reveal the Science of celestial being, to prove what God is and what He does for man" (p. 26).

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In next week's Sentinel—
May 2, 1994

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