I am no tree doctor, but I do know that trees need to be cut back from time to time to create opportunities for further growth, healthier growth. Sometimes, we just want growth, so we neglect sharpening our blades, and pulling out the clippers to trim back a few bad branches.
Still in further cases, we let sickness go unchecked so long that a tree needs to be cut back further and further.
A pruned tree and I am not so sure why I want to say prune as much as I do in this post, but it sounds pretty cool, can give off false perceptions. To an untrained or unattentive eye, a pruned tree looks awfully dead. Perhaps a parallel analogy could come from the winter season when a tree loses all of its leaves. Seasons come and go, but as long as the tree stays rooted in the right place, the fruit will come in the right season.
What is the point of all this pruning and season mumbo jumbo you ask?
Well, Jesus promised us that the father would prune us. Sometimes that gets interpreted individually. Yet, can I daresay that the passage in John 15 could also apply to the community of faith in a collective us as the people of God issue.
Sometimes, the church will go through season when God prunes and cuts out the branches that should not be there. And no matter what, as one who has led a church through a pruning from God…it is not comfortable. However, I am looking forward to the further fruitfulness this church and all others that hold onto as God shapes them into the healthy trees that he wants them to be will have.