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The Parable of the 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

A good vineyard was passed down from one generation to the next where the vines were carefully nurtured. Particularly good vintages can trace their heritage back through generations of vines, each one the product of an attentive gardener. It is the gardener who knows what new vine needs to be planted or grafted into an existing one to get the best growth. Sadly, it is also the gardener who can see which vine needs to be removed because it is not growing.

According to this parable, whether we are growing or not is not ours to decide but the gardeners, God. Our task it seems is to keep drawing our life from the vine, Jesus. What does that mean?

Jesus must be the foundation of our faith, not our own gifts and abilities or talents, just Jesus. We rely on him, we trust in him, we follow him, and we look to him for the future. For without him we can do nothing. He is our beginning, our end, our inspiration.

Prayer: Father thank you for sending Jesus into the world. Doing that in a most unique way that no one saw coming. I thank you for Emmanuel, God with us. I recognise I can do nothing without him and everything through him. Help me to articulate my total reliance on Jesus through the gift of faith you have given.

Action: Go out for a walk and look at the plants. See how they draw strength from the earth and reflect on how you draw your strength from Jesus.

This Thought was written by Norman Smith