May 2, 2021
John 15:1-8 NRSV
John 15:1-8 NRSV
Jesus the True Vine
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes[a] to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed[b] by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become[c] my disciples.
This fits so well with the season of spring. Spring is a time when everything comes back to life. Trees and flowers are blooming, gardens are being planted, and everything looks alive again.
Two days ago I had the honor of presiding over the Celebration of Life for a World War ll veteran who lived to be ninety-six years old. He was an avid gardener. He took great pains to keep the weeds out of the garden. He was known to be at war with the raccoons to keep the garden safe. He would prune the dead leaves and stems so the plants would continue to grow and flourish in producing good fruit.
We are much like these plants. If we are not connected to our Vine (Jesus). We can not produce any fruit. In order for us to produce good fruit we must allow Jesus to prune away the dead leaves and stems from our lives. We must be connected to Jesus the Vine before we can ever have the dead weight pruned away. We cannot bear any good fruit until all the bad is pruned away from our lives. We want to share our good fruit with those who do not have the hope we have or know Jesus as Lord. The challenge for all of us is to see what we need to have pruned from our lives so we may bear better fruit. We need to seek out the fruit inspector and be inspected.Prayer
Lord, in this season of renewal and life, may we recognize that which is dead in our lives. Prune and trim and work on us that we may bear fruit and in so doing, share in the life-giving work of Christ our Lord. Amen.