Fifth Sunday of Lent
Do you have a green thumb? If so, what is your favourite plant to grow?
My dad likes to assume he knows how to prune grapevines. Our family once had so many grapes we didn’t know what to do with them and so we ended up giving much away even after we made litres of grape juice. Unfortunately after the drastic pruning, the vines stopped producing grapes—we blamed dad for it!
In John 15 we read about God, the expert gardener. In His wisdom, He perfectly prunes that which does not produce fruit so nutrients are directed to the grapes for the purpose of production. Pruning ensures that the vine will bear more fruit. It happens to the entire vine, even the parts that produce fruit.
In this passage, there is a command attached to a promise. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Do we remain in the vine? In contemporary culture it seems easier to rely on our own strength than on God. In the good times when we are experiencing life, we must remain in the vine. In the hard times when we feel the painful effects of pruning, we must still remain in the vine. Apart from the vine there is no life. No fruit. No grapes.
How do we deliberately choose to remain in the vine?
Abide. Trust. Dependence. When we remain in the vine, the Spirit produces fruit. And the fruit is for the Father’s glory! His goal is that we would bring praise to Him, for our good. Fruit is a product of abiding in God. Let the expert gardener prune away as we trust Him for a great harvest.
How might you pray specifically for God to produce His harvest in you and in your church community? Take the time to pray.
Amy Lenny is Pastor of Worship Arts and Young Adults at Central Heights Church in Abbotsford, BC.