5TH WEEK OF EASTER
I am the true vine.
Most of us are probably not experts in growing grapes. So a discussion of vines and branches, of pruning and bearing fruit, might seem far removed from our personal experience at first. But let’s take a few minutes to see what grapes can teach us about life in Christ:
• A healthy vine: For grapes, as with many plants, the health and productivity of the entire plant depend on the strength of the vine, also known as the trunk. In fact, new plants are often grafted onto a healthy, established trunk to give them the best chance at success. Just so, our strength and life come from Jesus, the true vine. Since we are grafted into him, it’s not up to us to try and bear fruit alone. We can receive strength and life from Jesus, who blesses our efforts and makes us fruitful.
• Remaining attached to the vine: For branches to bear abundant fruit, they have to remain firmly attached to the healthy vine. As we come to Jesus in regular prayer or study, as we turn to him throughout the day, or as we praise him in the ups and downs of our lives, we are learning to remain in him. We are attaching ourselves to him more firmly so that we can receive more of his life.
• Being pruned: Healthy, productive grapevines still need to be pruned every year. If the branches are not pruned, they bear poorer fruit and can fall prey to disease. Eventually they stop bearing fruit altogether. Examining our consciences and confessing our sins can be like a pruning for us. We may want to avoid the discomfort of putting off what separates us from God, but it’s vital if we want to become more fruitful. We have to let go of whatever may be blocking our connection to Jesus.
Jesus has said he is the true vine. The more we acknowledge him as our source of life, remain in him, and ask him to remove obstacles to his grace in us, the more like him we will become. We will bear good and lasting fruit!
“Jesus, help me to remain in you as a branch in a vine. I want to bear fruit for your kingdom!”
WORD AMONG US