E-votional - Ad-minister
May 12 - 18, 2003


“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower.”

John 15:1 (NRSV)


   Spring has sprung. Plants are sharing their colorful nature. The roads in East Texas have been splashed with Yellow, Blue and Red Paint brushes. The Crape Myrtles, pruned back to nothing are shooting towards the sky. Roses are opening up to share their fragrance and beauty. The birds and squirrels too are reveling in the Spring. Eggs have hatched and the chicks are venturing out, following their mother's lessons of finding food and fleeing from the unknown. Those little squirrels, not much bigger than your hand, are staying near the base of the tree, all the while exploring life's new mysteries. New birth and new life are all around us, but it all comes with work, with a price. Pruning here, weeding there, gardeners but in the work that is necessary to have a beautiful garden. It is preparation and planning, not creation. In a ministry of it's own the gardener creates a fruitful environment in hope that the plants are able to share their best. The mother's, through care, gestation and teaching, hope to prepare their children for the new environment that will surround their chicks. When we are called to act, when something is before us, or we are needed, we have choices to make. This is administration, this is ministry.

   Hear the Good News, we are called to be gardeners of the world, mother's to society and branches on the vine of Christ. Jesus says “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.” He says even more. He goes on to remind us that as branches we are to be productive branches. What a challenge this is, what a ministry opportunity we have before. But how? How do we know what it is we are to do, and then, how is it we are to have this opportunity manifest itself in our life? “Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, "Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." (This is a wilderness road.) So he got up and went.” (Acts 8:26-40) When we look at Philip, we have a hint, a clue as to what it means to be on the vine of Christ. Philip heard and responded. He went and his journey was not one that was easy or necessarily familiar. It was a wilderness road. When we respond to God and allow God to work within the world and in our life, it is sometimes uncomfortable and even difficult. The Angel told Philip to get to the road and Philip did. When we cut back our Crape Myrtles, they look bald, dead and worthless until . . .Spring. The work of raising a child is work, at times painful and uncomfortable, but it is done in the hope that the child will be be fruitful and leave a legacy of who we are and what we are about. We hope the child will be happy and prepared for the world and environment that surrounds them. Now, this is no different from nature, but the difference is in our commission and instruction directing response to God call. Our ad-ministry. “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”(1 John 4:7-21) As the Holy Spirit dwells within us, strengthening and guiding us, we do love one another, caring even when it is uncomfortable, pruning when pruning is necessary, preparing our “gardens and children” for success. We are able to do this as we confess Jesus Christ as our Lord, we do this because we confess Jesus Christ as our Lord. This is us as a Branch, as an Ad-minister, an ad-ministrator.


   Gracious God, thank You for sending to me a Philip, someone who opens Scripture to me. Thank You for creating within me an understanding of what it means to be Your fruitful branch on the Vine of Christ. Allow me to share Your ministry throughout the world. Thank You for all you have done in my life and all you will continue to do, for I come to You through Jesus Christ, my Lord, my Savior! Amen.

Grace & Peace

David Banks