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"The Joy of Fungus"


"Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree" 

Galatians 3:13

What seems like an eternity ago I was riding my bike one brisk winter afternoon with my wife and our good friend Bill. Gunther, as I like to call him noticed the trees along the bike path and river bed were losing their leaves but observed joyfully that the fungus was as green as ever. You know the fungus in the trees, it's affectionately known as 'mistletoe'. We laughed as we thought about the tradition of mistletoe and how people actually want to stand under a fungus and share a kiss to celebrate the Christmas holiday. I mean of all the things a person could hold over someone's head to create a mood of love. Who would have thought fungus would do the trick? You can't make this stuff up friend. At times life is stranger than fiction.

I couldn't get that gross picture of fungus out of my mind. To think that fungus could actually be a means of bringing people together in love. But then, the more I thought about how strange it seemed the more sense it actually made to me in another. The "another" being in a biblical sense. Think about why Jesus was born into this world in the first place. The world was infected with sin or you might say a fungus, yet in reality sin is far worse than any fungus could ever dream of being. God knew what a terrible state we were in and that sin, the fungus, was taking over and there was no cure apart from God intervening. Jesus came to hang on that tree in our place so that you and I could experience God's love. His death on that tree (Calvary's Cross) seemed like a fungus to many in the world then and even today and yet those who in faith come and stand under God's banner of love come to realize the miracle of Christmas. God meets us at the place of our sin, our fungus as it were and reminds us that for that very purpose Jesus was born into this world, to bear the penalty of our sin so we can be healed. Jesus comes into our lives so that we can know God's love.

So, loved one, the next time you see mistletoe, whether in a tree or hanging above a door let it remind you of love, God's love for you. There's nothing God wants more this Christmas than to meet you there at that tree, the Cross of Jesus so that you and I can know His love too. Yes loved one, mistletoe hangs on a tree and when it is removed it becomes an expression of love at Christmas time. The same is true too of the Cross of Jesus, His death and resurrection! Yes, beloved of God, it was love that motivated Jesus to willingly give His life on that tree and it was His perfect life that rose again from the grave as the perfect expression of God's love for you! Christmas is a time of celebration, a time to celebrate God's love for you. The Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved, it's a lot like standing under mistletoe. It is the greatest expression of love, the Cross that is!

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

1 Corinthians 1:18


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