OSL Stephen Ministries
Bearing Fruit
Joan Bacon

You can feel it in the air—summer has fallen behind us, and autumn, the time of bearing fruit for the harvest, is here. For Christians, bearing fruit extends beyond autumn and across our whole lives. Jesus has called us to bear fruit: “No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:4

But how can this fruit bearing be accomplished when one is in the midst of a serious struggle, major loss, or troubling challenge? Henri Nouwen wrote about being fruitful during hard times in You Are the Beloved. He claimed that our fruitfulness often comes out of those very times when we have been raked open like hard ground by something that leaves us vulnerable and powerless: “And the mystery is that our illness and weakness and our many ways of dying are often the ways…that will allow us to be more fruitful if lived faithfully. Precisely where we are weakest and often most broken and needy, precisely there can be the ground of our fruitfulness.” Nouwen reminded us that something new can be raised during hard times—even from something as hard as death.

If autumn finds you seeking how to live faithfully when you feel raked open, vulnerable, or powerless, Stephen Ministers are available to walk beside you. A Stephen Minister can offer confidential, prayerful witness to the fruit born in difficult times. To learn more, talk with Pr. Tim Lemme, tlemme@oslchurch.com or 336-2942, ext. 19, or Deb Harlan, dharlan@oslchurch.com or 336-2942, ext. 48.

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