I am the True Vine



"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... Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."



John 15:1-8 (ANIV)






In the mid 19th century, while Ireland was laid waste by potato blight, imported from America, France was devastated by another American pest… Phylloxera, which destroyed most of the vineyards in France… Eventually the only solution was for European varieties of grape to be grafted on to the resistant American rootstocks.
It is only when we are grafted into the rootstock of Christ that we can be protected against the even more devastating blight of sin… But that is not the end of all trouble, trial and pain… Indeed Jesus suggests that pain, or pruning is the lot for blighted or fruitful branches… And on the cross Jesus ultimately demonstrated his solidarity with humanity in suffering and death. But it might also be said that this was the very point at which, through pain and suffering, we were grafted into Christ.

REFLECTION
I am
the true vine,
from my roots lodged deep in eternity
flows life
and love
and fruitfulness…

I am
The true vine,
And my Father God is the gardener
Tending the vine
Pruning the branches…
There is no escaping the sharp edge of his knife
Unfruitful branches are cut off
Fruitful branches are cut back.
Unfruitful branches are cut off so they will not sap the strength of the fruitful ones
And burned to prevent the spread of disease and decay
But fruitful branches are cut back to prepare for new growth and fruitfulness
But only the expert gardener can tell one from the other
He will do the cutting off and cutting back
All you have to do is remain in me...
And grow
And be fruitful

I am
The true vine
And you are the branches
Grafted in
One dark spring morning
When the vine seemed dead
Cut down.
But when the world least expected it
The vine broke free of the cold dark earth.
The branches spread their leaves to the risen sun
Nourished by my blood poured out in love
And the sap of the spirit formed flavoursome fruit.

I am
The true vine
You are the branches
And the trellis is a cross

Music: Here is Love (Joanne Hogg)

PRAYER
Loving Lord Jesus, Great I Am, the True Vine
Keep us abiding in you…
In the business of life…
In the darkness of death
You are the vine
We are the branches




Loving Lord Jesus, Great I Am, the True Vine
We give thanks that the branches of your church stretch right around this world
Different nations and denominations
With varying languages, cultures, theologies, worship styles, organizational structures
Yet all find their roots in you and your cross O Christ.
Together today we give thanks for your sacrifice for us and for the whole world.
May we live our lives in the light of your loving sacrifice
Loving one another as you have loved us
Forgiving as you forgave
Seeking to be one as you and the Father and the Spirit are one…
You are the vine
We are the branches




We remember those branches of the church that are under different pressures at this time
Those who are being actively persecuted and prevented from celebrating this Easter season freely
Those who live in societies that are not as materially well off as we are and so struggle to meet the needs of those around them
But also those who, like us, live in affluent societies where people outside and inside your church do not recognize their need of and dependence on You.
May we all remember that just as the cross of Christ became a source and sign of victory and hope
So our times of difficulty and suffering will bear much fruit for you and your kingdom
You are the vine
We are the branches

Loving Lord Jesus, Great I Am, the True Vine
We give thanks for the other branches of your church in this area…
And pray that our work together may be a sign of our unity and your claims on this the people of this area
May our community become your vineyard
Show us how we can better work together to extend your kingdom in this area
And forgive us where we have sought to build up our own wee empires at the expense of your Kingdom
You are the vine
We are the branches

Loving Lord Jesus, Great I Am, the True Vine
We give thanks for our brothers and sisters in this branch of your church
Praying for those who are experiencing the pain of pruning at this time
And those who feel that they are withered and fruitless.
May your Spirit restore them and may we support them in all that they are facing
You are the vine
We are the branches


Jesus, you said, 'I am the true vine’.
And we are the branches
Pruned by our gardener God
Son of God, keep us abiding in you.

Comments

Wow, THANK YOU for this poem! Inspired me.

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