“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
As I write this devotional, I have just completed my model of the Grand Canyon for our Bible Evidence Museum. What a project! It’s all worth the effort though if it helps one person to see the Bible as accurate and reliable with respect to earth history. Studying the canyon, I notice that the main canyon, which cuts a “v” shaped gorge through solid granite, also slashes through a number of smaller side canyons. Connected to these smaller canyons are a staggeringly complicated array of even smaller canyons, which form beautifully intricate branching patterns. Though the majority of these side canyons are now dry, they all once drew water from the plateau and channeled it to the main canyon (where the Colorado River still runs westward). This morning I found myself staring at the trees in my backyard and couldn’t help but notice the amazing similarity between their branches and the branching patterns in the canyon. Whereas the branching canyons once acted as tributaries, bringing water into the main canyon, leaves at the end of a tree’s branches channel sunlight and carbon dioxide into itself in order to carry on the tree’s life-sustaining processes. These branching patterns seem too similar to be anything but the work of a single, powerful and wise Creator. Just as the branches on a tree act as avenues through which life-sustaining substances can enter the tree, individual Christians act as tributaries through which important contributions and influences strengthen the local church. Today’s verse passage reminds us that every member of the church is important. Each saint in the local assembly has something to contribute to the edification of the church as it moves towards Christ-likeness. Whereas streams flow into rivers and sunlight and carbon dioxide flow from leaves into branches, that which makes for our spiritual health flows from our Savior Himself and into the souls of His people. The Lord declared, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). Reflecting on the Grand Canyon, I notice that most of the branching side canyons, which undoubtedly once carried a titanic amount of water into the main canyon, are now bone dry. This reminds me that even godly-minded, Spirit led, productive Christians can become “dry” and unfruitful if they begin to wander from the Source of their spiritual life. May the Lord help us to stay connected to Him today, for His glory and the good of His people. Amen!