One year has ended and a new one is beginning. Every new year represents one more chance to reach our goals and make our dreams, one more chance to love God and our neighbors, a new opportunity to carry out the Good News of God’s love and forgiveness.
As we witness the wonderful ministries happening at our different congregations, 2017 represents not one more chance to bear fruit but one more opportunity to continue bearing more and better fruits as communities of faith.
In my motherland El Salvador, the period between November and February is the time for harvesting coffee. After the harvest, “la poda” (the pruning) comes. This means that the owner of the coffee plantation sends out workers to cut off the branches of the coffee tree that were broken or bent during the harvest, which is done by hand, because those branches are withering and will no longer bear fruit.
But God, our coffee grower, is content because his coffee plantation at Florida-Bahamas Synod is bearing a lot of fruit: it continues to be generous, it’s becoming more multicultural, and it’s becoming a stronger “network of vibrant congregations proclaiming Christ and reconciling the world.”
In other words, we are living out the words once pronounced by Archbishop Oscar Romero (Salvadoran Roman Catholic assassinated by the death squads in March, 1980):
“We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promises.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects beyond our capabilities.”
May the God of Peace continue to bless us all, and may this new year bring us many more chances to continue sharing Christ, making disciples and doing justice.