Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lessons from the Compost Heap - by Pastor Chris Meirose

Yesterday I had an article published in our local newspaper - The Waseca County News -  Below is that article.  Credit to Shanon O'Dell's book "Transforming Church in Rural America" for the genesis of this article's main idea.

Garden season is in full bloom.  Any gardener worth their petunias knows the secret to good growth is the right fertilizer.  Water is just H20, and the Sun provides its energy, but fertilizer turns plain dirt into something special where life can grow.

One of the most common sources for this black gold comes from a compost heap.  If you aren’t familiar with the composting process, you take all your organic scraps and pile them together, and then wait for them to rot and decay.  The smell of a compost site can be stomach churning in its stench.  Sometimes I think marriages are a lot like a compost heap.

Most marriages accumulate a lot of stinking, rotting junk from the past - broken promises, unfulfilled expectations, cutting words, acts of betrayal.  A marriage is the perfect location to build a compost pile of pain, anger and frustration.  We bring up the old smells, and as they age, they stink worse.  We hold onto past hurts and dwell on injustices.  You don’t want to get down wind of a lot of marriages!

Do you believe in miracles?  I do.  And I think there is a miracles waiting to happen in all those compost pile marriages.  No matter how bad they smell.  If you handle your compost pile properly, you know they can produce some of the richest, most fertile soils and fertilizers on the planet.  You take something that was dead and to be discarded and watch God give life to it, using it to grow something new and beautiful.

Everyone who has been hurt in a relationship needs to take those pains to the compost heap, especially those of us who are married.  Bring it to God, and watch Him heal, liberate, and breathe new life into something that was once a stinking decaying mess.

Colossians 2:13-14 says:  When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ.  He forgave all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross.

If you are a Christ follower, He has done that for us, and if your spouse is a believer He has done it for him or her as well.  But if we are to turn our compost pile of a relationship into fertilizer for something far greater, we must allow that same forgiveness to flow through us into the other person as well.  We must take our pains, the offenses, and dig them up with a shovel and spread them at the feet of the cross.  Leaving them there for God to work as only He can.  He is in the business of taking things that are dead and giving them new life.

If you would like to know more about First Congregational Church you can visit us on the web at or join us for worship at 10 a.m.  each Sunday, visitors are always welcome!

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