Jesus speaks captivatingly beautiful words in John 15: “ 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.” His metaphor of the vine speaks about our attachment to God, the source of our faith. I’ve shared with many of you my interest in gardening. I’ve discovered that some plants need a great deal of care to thrive (my most exotic plant was a staghorn fern which did not survive the move to Arizona). Some plants, like vines, are so hardy and often aggressive. They can move through a garden with great tenacity. I like the idea of being connected to Jesus as a branch is to a vine. The vine is the source of nutrients and nourishment, making possible the formation and ripening of fruit. How are we connected to this life-giving nourishment of Christ? Do the words and teachings of Jesus move into your faith? Does the example of his life bring you encouragement and strength? Can the Spirit of Christ help you to bear the fruits of compassion, forgiveness, and mercy? The way vines move and grow make me think of the strength of God that moves into our lives and sometimes into places we didn’t think God could even touch. Sunday, we worship to be nourished in our faith, to find God’s presence and power that makes it possible for us to face life and to be Jesus’ disciples in the world, helping God’s kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven.

Rev. Dr. Dave Summers

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