Lemon Trees & Growing Kids

By Shannon Pifer

photo by Luke Pifer

photo by Luke Pifer

Several years ago, my husband and children gave me a small Meyer lemon tree for Mother’s Day. Knowing my love of all things lemon, it was the perfect gift to plant in the backyard of our new home. It was but a couple of feet tall without even a hint of a blossom or bud, but we planted it in a sunny spot, gave it water and fertilizer, and wrapped it in burlap on the occasional cold night, all in anticipation of lemons.

Last year, despite a freak snowfall, an unfortunate capture-the-flag collision, and a hurricane, my little lemon tree produced a whopping five whole lemons! It was a joy to watch them develop from aromatic blossoms, to tiny green orbs, to big, heavy, juicy, ripe fruit! I waited patiently for them to fully yellow, picked them before they succumbed to their weight and dropped, and set them in a bowl on the table until the perfect use for their yellow, tangy, beauty presented itself in my kitchen.

This year, our lemon tree is absolutely dripping with baby green lemons, as you can see from the picture above. It’s still small and requires care, but it is growing and producing an abundance of fruit! I’m hopeful that more than five lemons will make it to my table this year, but regardless of how much fruit it yields, I have found such joy in watching that little tree do exactly what it was created for.
It’s not surprising that the Bible is full of parables and metaphors related to seeds and plants, trees and fruit. In his first letter, Peter compares the Word of God to an imperishable seed, stating so beautifully, “The grass withers and the flower fails, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” (1 Peter 1:24) As much as I care for my little lemon tree, at some point it will succumb to the elements or a fungus or old age or an errant teenager. But God’s word is a seed that will not perish! It will grow and flourish, bearing eternal fruit in the lives of His people! That’s why we take teaching the Bible in Four Oaks Kids so seriously. It may look differently within the walls of our classrooms and nurseries, but we prioritize the planting of that imperishable seed into the hearts and minds of our children.
This summer, we will be teaching our preschoolers through 5th graders from Exodus, following along in our three-year chronological study of the Bible. Our elementary schoolers once again will meet in the youth room for “Summer Camp Sundays” during the 11AM service, where we’ll camp out in God’s Word while having lots of fun together (during the 9am service, rising 1st-6th graders will join their parents in the Worship Service).

The first Sunday of each summer month through Labor Day weekend (June 2, July 7, August 4, and September 1) will be “Big Church Sunday,” when all rising 1st-6th graders will join their parents in the sanctuary during both services.

Our infants and toddlers classes will meet during both services as usual.

Debbie Tanis