Grapes of Wrath

My wife and I have a garden growing in our backyard. There’s a lot of work (and money) that goes into the venture. With great excitement, we picked and ate our first veggies just last week.

After a full year of work and study, the graduating class of 8th graders at BACS had more than one party. Many of the students spent time with their families in the afternoon, and then they had a class party in the evening.

In the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard, the laborers worked for all or part of a day, and they received their wages at the end of the workday.

In Revelation 14, an angel comes with a sickle to reap the harvest of ripe grapes. The ripe grapes symbolize the last state of the former church. This idea stuck out to me because I usually think of the last state of a church as being one of death and destruction, and yet the end of the former church was symbolized by a sweet, ripe fruit.

Life really is a cycle, and there are cycles within the cycle. There is a time for growth, a time for working, a time for study. And then there is a time for parties, for remuneration, and for sweet fruit. And then the cycle starts again—and there is work, and difficult growth, and learning. Our life goes through these cycles because our relationship with the Lord goes through cycles.

Life is going to be great sometimes, and hard sometimes, and heavenly sometimes… and hellish sometimes. It’s not a bad thing that life can be good and then hard again. It’s not a bad thing that states of life come to an end. It’s part of the natural process of growth. If we never stopped being babies, we would never become adults.

Enjoy the celebrations and paychecks and good times, and you may even manage to find some joy in the work and in the learning. Each state of life serves its purpose, just as former churches served their purposes. And in a similar way that the Lord is drawing humanity closer to Him with each successive church that comes into this world, the Lord draws us closer and closer to Him with each successive state of life that we pass through.

And I would like to finish with this: if you are finding it difficult to get through the work phase of a life cycle, and it feels harder than you want it to be, give me a call (215-713-7216) and we’ll take a coffee break.