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. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
Reflection by Janet Derby
Driving down the street last week, I saw a sign that said, “English Ivy Kills Trees”. I’m not sure who puts these signs up or why, but it is a reminder that vines can be very invasive and harmful. People refer to kudzu as “the vine that ate the South” for good reason. I don’t imagine that those were the images Jesus had in mind when he referred to himself as the vine. The image of grapes growing beautifully on hillsides is a much nicer metaphor for Christ’s followers. Yet, perhaps it would do us well to remember that we, as branches, need to remain tethered to the vine to ensure that we bear the right kind of fruit and reach out into the world in positive ways.
Thank you for your ever-present love and support. Help us to stay rooted in that love and spread it to a world in need. Amen.