Long time since Sunday, Part II

I have been reflecting on our sermon of last Sunday. It explored the theme of Jesus as the vine, found in John 15. This sermon was the latest in the series of the “I am” statements found in the book of John. Up to this point, Stan and Lynn have been presenting the messages. This week, Cherice Bock brought the message. This has been a favorite passage of mine, both because of the horticultural imagery, and also because of the way in which Jesus presents the relationships between him, his followers and his father. Cherice shared that if we can view Jesus as the vine, and we as branches, and the Father as the gardener, then the Holy Spirit would be the sap which moves through the entire body.

There were several strong points to consider from this sermon and this section of John (15:1-17). Included is the concept of abiding (remaining) in Christ. The horticultural imagery certainly supports the notion of abiding. The branch that is broken off from the vine has little chance of surviving because it is cut off from the life giving sap that flows through the plant. The concept of pruning is another very important one introduced here. God, our father does do deliberate pruning for his purposes. Cherice pointed out that the purpose of pruning is not just to remove diseased, damaged or dead branches, but to even remove productive branches as well, all for the purpose of fruit production.

Pruning is necessary to keep fruit production at its optimal level. Although a vine has the capacity for producing many healthy branches, if some of those branches are not pruned out, what fruit is produced will be smaller and of inferior quality. In examining my life and considering all of the branches I have, I realize to get really good fruit on some branches, I’ve got to have some other branches pruned away. I believe that there has been some of this pruning going on in my life over the last six months. A key factor to consider in this pruning process is who is in control of the pruning. Do I truly believe that God is the gardener and he is in control of the pruning so that my fruit production can be improved? Or do I want to be in charge of the pruning (or lack of pruning). Maybe I could hold onto these projects a little longer. Maybe I could accept one more responsibility. It is for good purpose, isn’t it?

I am going to pray this prayer with sincerity. “Oh, Lord, I want to recognize and act on my connection to the vine of life. I want to faithfully submit myself to your pruning so that I can produce the kind of fruit that you want to see in my life. I trust you and know that you have my best interests at heart. Help me to choose for your purposes, not my own. Help me to set aside my preferences and schedules so that you can establish your preferences and schedules in my life”.

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One Comment on “Long time since Sunday, Part II”

  1. Cherice Bock Says:

    Hey Scot,
    I’m glad this message was helpful to you. Pruning isn’t fun, but it seems like especially in our culyure we really need it!

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