There seems to be an abundance of fruitfulness talk in the church today, although many feel uncomfortable with it. It seems too businesslike (we can easily substitute fruitfulness for profits) and not faithful enough. Yet, comfortable or uncomfortable, stories of fruitfulness and its importance in our lives with God fill the scriptures. So what creates the difference between our call to fruitfulness and our success-obsessed culture? The author of Colossians helps us differentiate between an obsession with success and the call to fruitfulness.
The author begins with a strong commendation of the local congregation. He commends their faith in Christ and their love of one another and then makes the link to the growth and expansion of the gospel.
Our encounter with the good news of Jesus Christ provides the starting point to our call to be fruitful. We see this fruitfulness in the community of believers, in the way they relate to one another, in the way they engage the community around them, and in the way others speak of them.
A call to fruitfulness in the kingdom is made known through our witness. Imagine us becoming a people who call our faith communities to put into practice the spiritual disciplines of justice, reconciliation, forgiveness, and love. Then those disciplines attract the attention of a world that lacks loving ways. Our reputation becomes the standard by which people measure God’s identity.
Fruitfulness seems impossible, but we have the Spirit of God given to us through our encounter with the gospel of Jesus. We have all we need to witness to God’s love in the world.
In the midst of a success-obsessed culture, loving God, help us commit to true fruitfulness by our witness in everyday life. May we be both doers and proclaimers of the importance of fruitfulness in our world today. Amen.