15:1 – I am the true vine
Since 2020, I have started to garden some of my own fruits. Nothing crazy, just some strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, but enough to say I had a garden. I learned how to fertilize the soil and how to protect the buds from critters – all the things that make sure we would get a good crop each year.
The most difficult thing to learn was how to prune branches that weren’t well. There were branches on the blackberry bush that would break off if they got too heavy with their berries, which was always a shame. It seemed like they would be so fruitful, with the most blackberries of them all, but if there was a windy day, they would break off, dangling from the rest of the branch with all of the fruit waving in the wind. My heart would be so sad when I saw that fruit branch swinging from the broken branch, that I would leave it there for days “just in case.” A few days would go by, andI would notice the branch that was still living was being weighed down by the dead branch, unable to grow any further, stuck in the past.
In John 15, Jesus says “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.” It’s just an old gardener’s trick that made it into the Bible, right?
As Jesus so often did with his disciples, he spoke in parables. A simple story, with more meaning than scholars can fill books with. We don’t have time for novels of historic text, so here are three questions that cover the main points:
What is it in your life that you need to let go of?
What is it that is weighing you down, not allowing you to move forward?
What is God telling you to release, but it feels too hard to let go of?
My prayer for you is that whatever in your life is holding on and holding you back, that God would give you the clarity and strength to make a change.