Dear Friends in Christ,

“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;
yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed
like one of these”
(Luke 12:27).

Two weeks ago, we welcomed new neighbors on the east side of our house. Our old neighbor, whom we loved, moved down to South Carolina. She longed to be closer to relatives. Our new neighbors are a family of five. Two parents and three little ones. The two small boys love to play in the backyard, and Rachel and I love sitting on our back deck and listening to their joyful squeals.

Between our two properties, Rachel planted a bunch of wildflower seeds, a whole packet. We were not sure how they would turn out, but we planted those seeds with love and hope. We wanted to welcome our new neighbors and thought wildflowers might do the trick. They did. Our new neighbors love the wildflowers and we are growing to love our new neighbors.

Last week, Seth Godin (one of my favorite writers), wrote a short blog post called, “Spreading like Wildflowers”. Seth writes, “Often, people encounter ideas that are spreading like wildfire. The problem with a wildfire is that not only is it out of control, but it leaves nothing but destruction in its wake. Build an idea that spreads like wildflowers instead”.

The love of God that is in Christ Jesus is an idea (and a truth) that has spread through time and across the world, and we are called to be the bearers of that love. So, please consider, dear ones, the kind of seeds we are planting, through the words and images that we are sharing in person, in meetings, and on Social Media. Let us choose our words and images kindly and lovingly, seeking always to build up the Body of Christ, as a faithful witness to the community and the world.

What we say and the way that we say it matters. For the seeds we sow will have a direct impact on the fruit that is eventually produced. When we plant seeds of hate we will raise a wildfire. When we plant seeds of love, we will raise a wildflower and the Fruit of the Spirit that follows, “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…”