“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit."
~ John 14:1 - 2
There resides in each of us things that are not healthy for us. We live in an imperfect world, and because we do, we can tend to develop habits that magnify those things that can sometimes serve as a stumbling block for any of us.
Oh, I think most of us have something that immediately comes to mind. If we are truly being honest with ourselves, the ability to make excuses for why we do some things outnumbers the actual things we do!
Jesus continues to share with the Disciples how this new resurrected relationship is going to work after he returns just days after the empty tomb.
God is this great vineyard developer, and Jesus, well, Jesus is a great vine. While you would think that Jesus would be the perfect vine, even God needs to create a more perfect vine, and so God trims off that which does not produce an abundant harvest, and tends to the areas that produce great fruit.
So often this is just where some folks jump to the conclusion that those who do not produce good fruit will be cut off from the glory of God.
For me, I know that I am not perfect, but like a truly good farmer, my God, like Jesus explains, is the ideal farmer. I know that I am being shaped. Not like some topiary at the front door of someone's home! No! God utilizes every gift that I have to make sure that I am always putting my best forward.
God is not in the business of throwing away God's children. So often we read into this scripture as God somehow cutting off those who seem to have fallen away, or who lack something. Even among farmers, they know that even the pieces that are cut away still have a purpose. They can be used to create mulch that prevent weeds and keep the plant moist, or even fertilizer, that makes the plant healthy and stronger.
Our God is always about redemption, hope and resurrection. Jesus invites us to be part of the healthy vine, that grows, blooms, and provides for the harvest.
God wants the excellence of creation to flourish, and for each of us to be part of the beautiful garden being created. We shall abide in Christ, and Christ in us, who is with God our Creator!
You are God's most precious of all creation! Grow and bloom!
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.