By Sally Lombardo
“Let me sing for my beloved my love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes?” (Isaiah 5:1-4)
Recently, I worked in Zambia at a camp for children who live in poverty. The camp was on a beautiful hilltop with striking views across the lowlands and intensely colorful sunsets. The children had bright smiles; they were hopeful about a fun week of camp—a full week of singing, Bible stories, and sharing thoughts and prayers in small circles. Happy pictures were constantly being snapped of the children and the leaders. The reality behind the fun was the girls in my group walked for one to two hours in the cold morning darkness to catch the bus. Their clothes were dirty and worn, and most of them were sick. Their shoes didn’t stay on, and they weren’t very good at sharing or playing together. When we visited their village areas, we saw their homes were open-air, and they had no roof over their heads at night. Young children were playing in the dirt beside broken cars and scattered metal.
As I read this section from Isaiah, I was reminded of my days in Zambia, where my thoughts wandered while we played with and taught the kids. I struggled with hoping that what I was doing made some difference for the little girls, and I hoped that sharing the love of God through my meager efforts would give them comfort and hope that life is good. I was saddened by the wide gap between the fruitful life God intends and the difficult lives that many of us navigate.
In the midst of great beauty, there was a rundown vineyard with a broken winepress, yielding a crop needing fertile soil. As a Christian, I feel one of my callings is to tend the vineyard where God has planted me and help others bear good fruit.
Is there a crop of “good grapes” that God is helping you bear for others? “So that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10 NIV).
Jesus calls the Holy Spirit a "gift" who will guide us, lead us, and empower us. Yet many believers don't experience the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives. This unique Christian small group Bible study provides a space in which we can explore what it truly means to "walk in the Spirit" on a daily basis. The Spirit-Filled Life small group curriculum centers on a 6-part video teaching series examining the life-giving and creative work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Begin to experience the gift today!
Comments will be approved before showing up.