Sunday’s Reflection: I am the vine, you are the branches. This verse is an allegory. It represents another thing and symbolically expresses a deeper meaning. And so, Christ is the vine, and we are the branches. When Jesus identifies himself as the true vine, this suggests great mutuality between Father and Son. The vine (Son) is dependent on the vine grower (Father) for its care and feeding, but the vine grower (Father) is also dependent on the vine (Son) for its produce (faithfulness). Each gives life to the other and takes life from the other. We cannot overstate the mutuality that exists between the Father and the Son. Jesus says, “I and the Father are one”. John 10:30
Jesus makes it clear that our relationship with him— “you are the branches” —is the key both to our fruitfulness and to our destiny. We, Christians, find strength and purpose through our relationship with Christ. We become stronger when grafted onto the Christ-vine, and bear fruit. We should constantly be connected to the Father through Christ. This can be done through personal prayer, common worship, acts of generosity and many more. Jesus tells us that fruitfulness starts in a quite different place. People should remain in His presence, and His strength becomes ours. If we turn our back on him, our strength begins to drain away.
We know that abiding in Jesus is central to our ministry and enables the branch to bear fruit. What fruit? To love one another (John 13:34; 15:12). To obey his commandments (John 15:10). Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
How do you remain connected to God and God’s creation? True fruitfulness, however, flows from our abiding relationship with Jesus and with all of creation. The person who bears fruit (Christ-like living) becomes Jesus’ disciple. Abiding in Christ is all about letting Jesus into your daily thoughts and visions, just like the life-giving water that runs through the grapevines and into the branches.
Prayer: God of deep soil and luxurious growth, you call us from our shallow selves to find our depth in you: may we abide in him alone who can teach us who we are, Jesus Christ, the true vine. Amen.
Prayers for an Inclusive Church (2009) alt. Resources are from the Anglican Church of Canada and Sermons that Work.