Is there a particular plant that brings the holidays to mind for you? Perhaps it’s the poignant scent of your Christmas tree? Maybe the vibrant red leaves of a poinsettia? For me, it’s the brilliant blooms of my Christmas cactus!
It is like a tiny mustard seed! Though this is one of the smallest of seeds, yet it grows to become one of the largest of plants, with long branches where birds can build their nests and be sheltered.”
Mark 4:31 – TLB
It all started with the centerpiece at my husband’s office Christmas party. On a chilly December evening in 1988, I found myself seated at a cozy round table admiring a festive holiday basket adorned with a red plaid ribbon. Spilling from the basket was a cascade of dazzling pink and delicate white blooms. Unfamiliar with these colorful flowers, I soon learned that the plants were Christmas cactuses. At the end of the evening, to both my surprise and delight, the hostess handed me the basket as a parting gift. I happily brought the plants home and placed them on my westward facing sun porch, offering them a kind word of encouragement and a small dose of water once a week.
They must have liked my words, not to mention the strong afternoon light and fertilizer laced water, for they grew by leaps and bounds. The plants soon doubled in size, and I transplanted them to larger pots. Before long, the plants required further re-potting. . One Christmas, my neighbor added a coral color cactus to my growing nursery. Over time, I mastered the art of rooting new plants from my original starter set. More and more pots were added to the mix even as the original plants continued to thrive. Friends began asking for cuttings, and I opened a greenhouse in my kitchen window.
All year long, the lush green foliage is a pleasure to behold, but come early December, the cacti really put on a show. Wow! The room is filled with pink, white and coral blooms that never fail to make me smile. This year, their holiday performance is a real showstopper!
It’s been 33 years since I carried home that holiday basket and placed it on my sun porch. Those two tiny plants have grown ten-fold, spawning countless new progeny. There is no telling how many plants I have rooted from that original stock. Their children have grown, multiplied and moved onto other houses.
There is a lesson to be found among the dazzling blooms of my Christmas cactus. Things may start small, but they don’t have to stay small. Bathed in His Light, watered by His grace, and transplanted into the soil of God’s marvelous love, things grow.
Over a span of 33 years, a tiny baby born in a lowly manger grew in size and stature, becoming a teacher, then a preacher, and ultimately the Savior of the world. It started small, but it didn’t stay small.
Eleven ordinary men became extraordinary leaders, defying the threats against them and proclaiming the message of Jesus Christ to all who would listen. From their efforts, small groups began to meet in private homes, and the early church was born. It started small, but it didn’t stay that way.
One zealous Jew bound and determined to persecute the early church had a single encounter that transformed his life. Blinded by the light on the road to Damascus, Paul met Jesus, and that one encounter turned his world upside down, transforming him from persecutor to preacher. This one man would alter the course of Christianity, spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ to Jews and Gentiles all over the world.
What started small in a stable grew by leaps and bounds. What began in a tiny manger led to a cross on a hilltop. The little boy Mary laid on a bed of hay rose up to heal the sick and raise the dead, transplanting his message of hope throughout the land. The baby boy born in Bethlehem achieved his final victory in an empty tomb.
Things may start small, but they don’t have to stay that way. Our faith begins with a small step of belief, but it doesn’t have to stay small.
Friends, let us walk in the glow of His golden Light. Let us drink from the well of His Living Water and grow our roots down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. May our tiny seeds of faith grow and multiply. Together, let us bring forth something beautiful.
And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love;
Ephesians 3:17 – TLB
O Lord Jesus, You came as a tiny baby, small and needy, but You didn’t stay small. You grew in size and stature, and so did Your message of salvation. Lord, we are small and needy, weighed down by the troubles of this world. May we not stay small. O Lord Jesus, just as You strengthened Your servants of long ago to share Your message of hope and love, take our tiny seeds of faith and make them grow and multiply. Let our roots dig deeply into the soil of Your love, bringing bright blooms of hope, joy and peace to a world that so needs to see You in us.
In the Awesome Name of Jesus, we pray,