There’s nothing like eating a mango just picked from a tree. Its sweetness soothes the senses and brings a delightful surprise to the tongue accustomed to the supermarket variety picked days before with the sweetness gone – or worse yet, frozen. When not eaten truly fresh, my favorite summer fruit falls prey to being just one of many with a bland taste. Yet when eaten fresh, what a different culinary experience is ours!

But fresh picked? There’s nothing like it. And you know what? God wants that for us in all areas of life. God gives us not just mangoes, but life itself, pure and sweet and unadulterated. That is, until we get in the way.

Take God’s creation for example. God gives us the beauty of creation in all its splendor, yet we allow our human processes to all but ruin it through overdevelopment, overuse, misuse leading to climate change and worse. Yet in its freshest, most original unspoiled form, there’s nothing like the goodness, the sweetness of what is offered to us.

And what about human relationships? God gives us the beauty of love in the same way. How many times have we found it hard to hear a simple, “I love you.” “You are valued.” “You are a person of worth.” How many times have we processed those words to death before being able to accept them in their pure and unadulterated form? Yet, that is what God wants for each one of us.

Accepting and believing without always second guessing, thinking ‘yes but’, or feeling that there has to be an ulterior motive is God’s desire for us. Babies don’t question our love for them. They come at it with the eyes and heart of purity. Few adults can say the same.

Freshness and purity and sweetness abound in every mango, in God’s creation, in God’s abundant love for us, and through God’s people. It’s there for the picking. Come join me in the harvest God has planted for us all.

The Rev. Canon Elizabeth Rankin