By Steven Scheid
I came into work on Monday after a week out of the office. The rose bushes had been cut back to six inches above the ground. They are large and bloom from spring until late in the fall. I was taken back by the heavy cutting. It appears most of the rose bush is gone. This is winter. It is time to do the work of pruning. All living things go through times of change.
Movements start small. A seed of need sparks a person and then community. The seeds of the Methodist movement came from such a seed in John Wesley’s heart.
The Boy Scouts of America came from a seed in the heart of Baden-Powell.
They have both bloomed into large organizations. Both have winds of change pushing hard at them. Change is coming. Pruning will happen. It is the order of things.
The beauty of this divine order is the amazing regrowth. The roots are unseen and hold fast. They are prepared for the warmer weather coming. They will feed a set of branches and leaves. Blossoms will again fill the air.
Why are we surprised at this dynamic change? Within our Christian faith the expectation is death and resurrection.
John 12:24 (NIV) calls us to see the divine order. “Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
It is around us in the winter. The pruning brings back a healthy plant.
There will be a shock as change occurs. I cannot forecast the future. There may be a division in our denomination and there may be a bankruptcy within Scouting.
Whether or not these particular events occur, change will come.
We must be rooted and ready to grow and bloom again.
Steven Scheid, director of the Center for Scouting Ministries
General Commission on UM Men