THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2018
BEARING GREAT FRUIT
The Church is the people of God, the body of Christ, the bride
of Jesus. The Church, which is the new Israel, is the vineyard
planted by God Himself, as “the vineyard of the Lord
of hosts is the house of Israel, the people of Judah, his
cherished plant” (Is 5:7a). As God is great, so too
are His people destined for greatness.
great was this vine? “The mountains were covered by
its shadow, the cedars of God by its branches. It sent out
its boughs as far as the sea, its shoots as far as the river.”
(Ps 80:11-12). Israel became a great kingdom. In turn, the
new Israel, the Church, was established to the ends of the
earth, today claiming a third of all the peoples of the world.
intended Israel to bear great fruit. But Israel ultimately
rejected Him, killed the prophets He sent, and even killed
His own Son (Mt 21:35-39). Today many members of the Church,
the very body of Christ, have also rejected God. Many have
turned away from Him. Even Church leaders have neglected their
duties and have failed to produce good fruit.
warns his people: “I say to you, the kingdom of God
will be taken away from you and given to a people that will
produce its fruit.” (Mt 21:43). God’s plan will
not be thwarted. The fruit of salvation will not be denied
to His people. This work of proclaiming the salvation of Jesus
is entrusted to the Church and to lay communities such as
ours, but that privilege will be taken away if we do not produce
the desired fruit.
must be ever mindful of what God has entrusted to us, to His
people. We must think about the great work that is to be done
and how we are to do it. “Finally, brothers, whatever
is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever
is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there
is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.” (Phil 4:8). All these adjectives
can be summed up in one word“great.” What
is excellent is great. What is worthy of praise is great.
the people of God, are destined for greatness,
to be a people and Church that will produce great fruit, the
fruit of salvation in the lives of people. We may be ordinary
and sinful and weak, but God can use those who are willing
to be used, who will work according to His ways. For this
great work, we are to give our all, even unto death, just
like Jesus. “The stone that the builders rejected has
become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and
it is wonderful in our eyes” (Mt 21:42b).
us pray, for ourselves and for our Church. “Lord God
of hosts, restore us; light up your face and we shall be saved.”
(Ps 80:20). And, being destined for greatness,
use us to bring your salvation to the ends of the earth, bringing
forth great fruit from the vine. Amen.