In the Bible, the image of plants is often used to convey a message to us about how God raised up a people for Himself. Like all good farmers and landscapers, God knows the value of fertile soil. Seeds are planted where they will be able to flourish and grow and yield fruit– where they can sink down roots and take in the nutrients and moisture needed to spread and be what they can be at their best.
As I think about the future of Via de Cristo, I think about the soil in which we are planted. I rejoice in the many layers of good, rich dirt which will give us the strength we need to carry this method and message forward–through all the trials, difficulties and successes we will have.
The topsoil, if you will, is our brothers and sisters in Rainbow Via de Cristo (now Living Stones Via de Cristo). This is where many of us first came to know this movement and what it is about. Here is where we felt God’s grace and love in a way we never had before. Here is where we forged lasting and deep friendships with Christian brothers and sisters. This is an important place for us.
But vineyards require a lot of nutrients, and our roots sink even deeper through Rainbow to the national Via de Cristo movement– back to the folks in Miami and Iowa who stepped out in faith many years ago because they were convinced that God was doing a new thing in the Lutheran Church.
And our roots go even deeper — to the island of Majorca after WWII and a group of Spanish Catholics who developed a short course in Christianity to excite and encourage lay people to walk the walk of a committed Christian.
tAnd deeper yet–our roots touch the soil that is the Church — the Body of Christ on earth. Nothing we are and nothing we do can be any good if it is not rooted in the Church.
Finally our roots sink until they come to rest in the most fertile soil of all — the Living Word of God that is Jesus the Christ. He is the source of all our strength.
Because we are so rooted, we know that Vineyard Via de Cristo will produce branches. It will bear fruit. It will become a splendid vine. Not because of who we are, but because of whose we are.
For more on Lutheran Via de Cristo see:
What is Via de Cristo?
Remembering My Via De Cristo Weekend
My Via de Cristo Experience