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“I am the true vine

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

John 15: 1-8

Reflection

Back in Jesus’ time, vines were growing everywhere, which made it a tangible metaphor for people. “I am the vine, you are the branches”. In these verses, Jesus reminds us that our relationship with Him is fundamental to fruit-bearing. Fruit bearing is the end result of God’s “pruning” and “remaining” in Christ.

Vines in vineyards are maintained and pruned so that they bear the best fruit for making wine. By contrast, wild vines grow huge, rampant, spindly and with tiny fruit. Their foliage grows excessively and they spend their limited time, energy and resources, lengthening their canes rather than producing fruit.

It’s these lengthy canes in our lives that must be cut back and the ones that are producing fruit pruned, to become more fruitful.

It’s by being in communion and by obeying Him, by remaining in Him and by letting Him remain in us, that we will bear much fruit. Jesus, the way, the truth and the life, the Son of God, invites us into a relationship. By being the vine, he offers us sustenance (the vine pumps sap into the branches) and stability, a place of dwelling. “Remain in me”, he says. If we do so, we will be vessels of His love, peace & character. We will bear the type of fruits that is not found in a plastic punnet in a supermarket. Rather, the ones that have had time to ripen, sun-kissed, uniquely shaped, bursting with taste.

These are the fruits I would rather bear!

What is God causing you to cut back on and let go of in your life?

How can you step away from the pressure to do in order to make remaining in Christ a priority in the coming days?

If you have time, listen to “Abide in Me” by Andrew Marcus

This Thought was written by Paul & Joanna Stevenson

Sahi, Jyoti. Abide in me (Jesus & the Beloved Disciple John). 2005, design for door panel of the chapel of NBCLC Bangalore. Collection of the artist.