P.O. Box 206 302 South Main Street Gainesboro, Tennessee 38562 (931) 268-4771 Office
Gainesboro First UMC
Monday, August 21, 2017
"A Caring Community of Faith"

Our Pastor

   

Pastor Tim Dunavant, Josh, Staci, and Mikayla 

You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

This spring Patrick, our trustee chair, worked diligently to get the flowerbeds at the church in shape. Many days I spotted him digging, weeding, planting, and mulching. This is a grand undertaking but he really did a wonderful job, as always. The large memorial garden on the corner is our most beautiful and noticeable feature here on the property. I walk and drive past it many times every day and get the pleasure of enjoying its beauty.

One day, when driving by, I noticed that a weed was coming up rather tall in the front. I thought to myself that I should get out there and pull that up soon. But by the time I had made it back home I had forgotten. Every time I saw this weed for the next week the same process repeated itself. Finally, this thing had grown so large that I knew that pulling it up would no longer be an easy task. I started thinking that I needed to go get a hoe out of the shed and go out there and chop this thing down. But still, I never got anything done about it. One Sunday I was talking to Patrick and so I mentioned that there was this huge weed becoming a tree in the flower garden. I was trying to apologize for having not gotten rid of it. This thing was clearly a nuisance and had no value whatsoever. He replied by informing me that this was not a weed. This was a wild sunflower. He had noticed it long ago and that's why he had allowed it to continue. He had not planted it but when he noticed it coming up he knew that it would bring great beauty in the place it was growing.

The same plant growing in the same place, but we both saw it completely different. I knew that it was not part of the original planting and so I assumed it to be an annoyance. I brushed it off as having no value and being in the way. But Patrick looked at it more carefully. And upon looking at it deeper he realized that it had great value and worth. He realized that although it was not part of his original vision of what the flower garden would grow into this summer, it was part of what God had planned. And he was willing, not only just to keep it, but to tend it as a precious part of the garden.

So often when we see something new we dismiss it as foreign and problematic. Maybe it's a new outlook on a particular scripture or a new song in worship or a different way of praying or a new person with a different attitude about an old issue. In this scripture Jesus is pointing out that the Pharisees had not accepted him as the truth. Jesus was not part of "the way they had always done things." So they were not willing to see the value and beauty. And I guess you know, they missed out on the glory of God because of this. When we see or hear something that is outside of the way "we have always done things" will we race to chop it down and get rid of it as quickly as possible? Or will we look deeper to see if it is the work of God in order to display his glory and beauty in our midst?

John 5: 39-40