May 5, 20201 Devotion
John 15: 1-8
”I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5I 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. 6Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
The past few gospels and the ones to come in the weekly lectionary are Jesus describing what he is like. The image was of Shepherd last week and this week is vine. I sat with preschoolers this week trying to explain a vine and why Jesus would be like one and realized concretely that the stories that Jesus used most likely would not be the stories he would use today since the preschoolers don’t have much knowledge of shepherds or vineyards. I took yarn and showed them how we could each hold a piece of the yarn and even without touching one another we are still connected. It got me to thinking, what story would Jesus tell about connection today? Would it be even though you can’t shake hands, you are still connected through elbow taps and smiling with your eyes? Would Jesus tell us about connection using the images of the internet? Or would he look for something more concrete like “I am the keyboard, you are the keys?” I don’t know for sure what Jesus would pick, but I do know that he would be looking for an image and story that would link us to this idea of how he abides with us and provides us a living life and a living word. That part is not new. The word has always been about living. It’s been about knowing God as a source for all things and for all new things. God loves creation and loves creating! It is meant for us to know Jesus as the vine, yes, but it is also meant for us to know Jesus through the things that are with us each and every day. What brings you connection? What image do you draw on to know that Jesus is close and sending you life? Really, think about it! I would love to know what you come up with! You an email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
God of connection,
As we grow in you to be your witnesses to the world, help us to hold on to our piece of the yarn and to also know that you hold us all in your arms. Be with the little ones as they learn to see you in their worlds and in their hearts and be with the big ones as we embrace the same truth, day by day, breath by breath. Amen