It’s also a book about appearances. About how the church may appear to be like a strong oak, but she’s really more like crabgrass. You see, oak trees compete with each other for nutrients, and will in fact choke each other out. Crabgrass on the other hand, is interconnected, it shares. It is nourished from the rhizome.
This is a very apt description of the church, as Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches: we are nourished by our connection to Him, and our interconnectedness to one another. It’s the church as community. The community we should be.
And the distance between should be and are is surrender.
As Hamlet said, “There’s the rub.” If we are highly placed in the church, in a position of leadership, chances are we don’t want to be perceived as weak, but rather as strong. Like an oak tree. We hide our needs.
Instead of surrendering, we lone ranger it, build our empires–instead of God’s kingdom.
Crabgrass doesn’t work this way. Crabgrass can’t work this way. It doesn’t compete for its nutrients–doesn’t vie for attention, grandstand: it just is.
The thing about the church as it now is, is that there are often power structures in place that are so strong, that not even God Himself challenges them. The best thing that can happen are several successive funerals.
Some wineskins need to burst so we can get back to what we, as the body of Christ, are supposed to be: a community (in every sense of that word).
Thank-you for reading!