A Jillion Silver Maples!

We are blessed to have a few mature trees on our .55-acres of property. There is a beautiful, tall, and stately pin oak tree and an equally sized and healthy silver maple that define the backyard. During spring, the oak produces catkins or tassels that collect on the driveway like manna during the time of Moses! These are messy, quite fragile, and crumbly pollen structures that fertilize the female flowers. While these “mossy gatherings” require about a week of daily sweeping, they are relatively easy to rake or sweep into piles that can be gathered into the yard waste container before they get tracked into the house.

From Seed to Maple Sapling!

The silver maple produces the entertaining “helicopters” or “whirlybirds” These seeds, with fin-like wings, take flight in the wind and scatter into the yard becoming a food source for squirrels that are waiting for more substantial seeds and nuts later in the fall. Their scattering destinations include flower beds, box garden areas, guttering and downspouts, driveways, and rock landscaping. In short, it is another mess that needs to be dealt with before the "whirlybirds" start to sprout a jillion silver maples in places you do not want them to grow! By the way, for argument’s sake, a “jillion” by someone’s definition means “an enormous number of something!” 😉

I wish we could win people to Christ and get them into a church experience as quickly as it takes a silver maple seedling to take root! I had an elderly friend, Bill Trautman, who would often remind me during our small group studies, "Well Pastor, we just need to get more people saved!" My first reaction was that he was right, but it seemed a bit simplistic. However, upon further reflection, I now wonder if I had not given my friend enough credit for his assessment of things in this world. 

Maybe we could see a gospel saturation in our lifetime if we would (and I mean each of us who are believers!) scatter and share our faith by word and deed as often as we have opportunity and with as thorough a coverage area as the whirlybirds of maples can carry themselves to places and spaces in our yards and beyond! Jesus told a parable about the Sower that scattered seed on the good soil of those who received God's Word. The result was a miraculously abundant crop "yielding a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown." (Matthew 13:23).

Imagine if the entire population of the faithful living in our villages, towns, and cities would commit to such a seeding of the gospel! Perhaps, if we would more readily share our faith in Christ, we could witness, in our day and time, a transformation impacting our states, our countries and the world that would result in jillions of lost people becoming citizens of the kingdom of God! I'm not trying to merely use hyperbole or exaggeration to get your attention or elicit motivation. Jesus clearly gave the disciples the scope of His commission, "You will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere... to the ends of the earth!" (Acts 1:8, NLT). These are our marching orders! 

What individual or societal challenge, local or globally, could not be cured by the transformative impact of a gospel seeding? Would there be less violence and senseless killings? Would the power of love drive out every aspect of hate? Would the word "enemy" fall into disuse and maybe extinction? The Scriptures envision the apocalyptic hope of a time and place where “the lion will live with the lamb!” (Isaiah 11:6). This promised “new heaven and earth” will be a future time when there is no need to turn “weapons into farm tools” because mankind will "study war no more!" (Isaiah 2:4)

Jesus taught about His Coming Kingdom and instructed each of His followers to pray earnestly for it to be ushered into reality. “May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven!” (Matthew 6:10, NLT). The Kingdom of God will shatter pride, greed, division, injustice, immorality and evil of every kind. This new Kingdom will be a place of peace, unity, goodwill, respect, and love.

There is a new world coming! Are you ready for it? Are you “seeding the gospel,” and sharing the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ before your family and friends? Do you desire to see “jillions” of lost persons come to the faith and spend eternity in heaven? If so, then...scatter some seed!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,

active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com 


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