Apple Cider Day Thoughts
When Adam and Johanna were small, we lived for four years in a little flat above some friend’s garage out in the countryside around Bristol, England. At that time, we were also a part of a church plant in Bristol that intentionally reached out to folk on the margins. Through this church, I developed deep friendships with folk who would not be considered successful or accomplished by the culture around us. Yet in this church, God was gathering us up, and God was making something beautiful out of our lives.
One autumn, as I walked with Adam and Johanna down that country road, I noticed a damson tree covered in fruit, with even more fruit lying untouched on the ground. As I walked past the fruit, trampled and wasted, I sensed God’s compassion for people whose lives appear to be wasted, broken, and trampled. I saw how God longs to gather them up, claim them as his own, and make something beautiful out of their lives. I saw how the act of gathering up that which is overlooked, abandoned, and labeled “Without Worth”, is a powerful characteristic of the Kingdom.
This past Sunday, we gathered as a church at Brooksdale to make apple cider for Small Ritual. We cut and mashed and squeezed a small mountain of apples. Most of the apples were drop apples, bruised and spotted and wormy, but they made glorious apple cider! All those apples became 50 gallons of apple cider. 25 gallons went to A Rocha, 20 gallons went to Small Ritual, and five gallons I canned so that we can give it away to folk visiting our church family, or folk within our church family who need a bit of TLC.
Thank you for helping create this living parable of the Kingdom of God. Thank you, Paul, for searching out the apples. Thank you to Brent and Denise, Paul and Rick, Zoe and Jared, Johanna and Adam, Stacie and many more A Rocha folk, for picking the apples. Thank you to Katie who planned crafts and games to make it fun for our children. Thank you to Rick who supervised the transformation. And thank you to each of you who came to chop, mash, squeeze, and clean-up the mess. Finally, thank you to Ryde and Valerie who completed the transformation. (I had a cup of the finished product at Small Ritual yesterday! It was wonderful!)
My prayer, however, is that we would not stop with apples. My prayer is that we would have the courage to bring our own beautiful, yet bruised and broken lives to the table every week. My prayer is that we might have the compassion to seek out, gather up, and welcome those whose lives are beautiful, yet bruised and broken, around our table as well. This is what it means to be human, bruised, broken, yet made beautiful by the hidden Christ.
Deep peace and blessings,