Sharing the Bounty.
English roses are different than the ones we typically grow in the US, different from those that can be plucked from the big black vases in the grocery store. They are densely-petaled and a little bit lacey looking. Pictured below are my favorites: Abraham Darby, Shakespeare ~ And, English roses are hearty.
So in my last backyard, I had a bounty of them – in all colors and shades. Often, I made bouquets and gave them to others, or brought them to Bible study or luncheons for centerpieces. So listen to this: I knew exactly how many I had ready to cut—watching them for an event, and went out one morning and they were perfectly snipped at the top of each stem… what in the world? Were the neighbors stealing my roses…what the heck? ‘Took a while to get to the bottom of it, but ‘turns out, a deer jumped our fence to feast on them! Caught the buck in the act one day. Ha!
When our gardens are bountiful, we share.
When the tomatoes are breaking down the vines, we bag them and give them to friends
When our lemons are so plentiful that they are starting to rot, we offer them to others to enjoy
And yes, when our gardens are abloom, we share our flowers as well.
Last year, my friend and neighbor, John, saw my apricots and asked for some to
make his apricot pilsner. Cool.
Sharing from the bounty of our gardens gives us joy!
So too as our hearts are filled with love for Jesus,
and the difference the cross makes in our lives,
we ought to share him with others—especially those we love.
You know, the last words Jesus had to say were about sharing the bounty. This is a wild passage actually – from Matthew’s gospel.
“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.
[time out—some of his disciples were still doubting—after they walked with Jesus, bunked with him, listened to him teach, watched him heal and love, suffer and die, and then rise from the grave?? ‘Some of them still doubted? Wow. Gives a few of us hope, doesn’t it?]
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. [watch this—now, Jesus passes the baton to them, giving them the authority…] v. 19- Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”1
‘Just give em what you got!’ Jesus is saying.
‘Go ahead, tell them what you have experienced walking with me these few years—tell them how your lives have been radically changed … how my peace has changed your heart. Or as Luke captured Jesus words, ‘Be my witnesses’.2
We cannot keep the joy of knowing the Lord to ourselves—the world is dying for it.
We cannot help but share the peace of Christ with others; they are crying for it.
We cannot stay silent about the promise of Heaven
and eternal joy that is ours.
Oh yes, we must share from the bounty of our hearts, dear ones.
Why would we want to do anything less?
1 – Matthew 28.16-20
2 – Acts 1.8