A Vine and It’s Branches

John 15 begins with one of my favorite discourses of Jesus. He describes the critical element of discipleship. Verse 4 says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.”

Two main thoughts come to mind as I reflect on this invitation of Jesus. ‘Abiding’ seems rather important. How do we abide in Jesus? What does this abiding look like? Certainly consuming the Word of God daily is one key. Think of it as ‘just hanging’ out with Jesus. Focusing on the really important things this Christmas when everyone is in a rush and have an overfilled schedule. I’ve said it before and you’re probably tired of hearing it, but I too, need to remember priorities. Be in God’s Word, be in Bible study, come to the special services, and have evening Advent family devotions. Don’t get to January 2024 and wonder what have I been missing?

I don’t know who said it but they got it right, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be what you’ve always been.”

Secondly, God wants you and me to be bearing fruit! My grandparents had a grape farm, and I spent many years pruning the grapes. It would look bear when they are cut back, but come harvest time as you pushed the leaves back you could see just how much lush fruit was being produced. I can say it was always fun, but I did learn some important lessons. May we all as branches connected to the vine, no matter the season produce a harvest!

Merry Christmas and as always -

Peace and Joy in Christ,
  Pastor Mark Gilson