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From Cedric

3 minutes reading time (603 words)

The True Vine

Hi Folks, I'm the Reverend Cedric Parsons, (retired)

I don't know about you but I'm glad to see the sun and the end of the snow at last! To feel the warmth of the sun on my body, the other day was so nice I thought I would sit out in the sun for a while and enjoy being outdoors, but I forgot to put on my sun hat and guess what? I got sunburnt, already! Burnt the top of my head and my nose! Lesson learned. Whilst I was enjoying the sun and the outdoors I noticed the buds on the trees and bushes and grass turning green and signs of life appearing in the garden, the birds singing their little heads off, really they are staking out their territory, and enticing a mate. Isn't it lovely to see and hear the signs of new life. Then a gardener appeared! With a chain saw! And cut down some trees with red bands around them. Then with a special machine cut up the tree stump and roots, in a very short while the trees were gone, the logs cut up ready to go for fire wood. I know there are seasons for gardening and even pruning! But this was not expected, and in way quite shocking.

This event got me thinking, about the heavenly gardener, (GOD) you can read about him in the gospel of John (15:1-8), and there are no seasons with him, in this passage Jesus says that he is "the true vine" and that only if we remain in him as part of that vine, only then will we produce fruit. I don't think he comes around with a chain saw, but maybe some very sharp secateurs, he prunes and cuts of dead branches, a painful process, but very necessary for the vine to be healthy and produce good fruit, left to themselves vines produce a lot of superfluous growth, and the fruit becomes small and poor. The branched that decide to go it alone, trying to live without the life giving sap of the "true vine" will soon discover their mistake, they simply wither and die, and of no further use, and are thrown into the fire. But, those that remain in the vine, who submit to the gardeners secateurs will live and bear rich fruit, basically this is what Jesus is saying about his followers, the big question I have in my mind as scratch my sun burnt head, is this, how do we remain in him? What might it look like?

First we must remain in community of believers, one that knows and loves him, and celebrates Jesus as their risen Lord and Saviour, just like a branch not connected to the vine, there is no such thing as a solitary Christian, we cannot go it alone, we must remain people of prayer and worship both in our private lives, but also together supporting and helping each other.

And yes it may hurt, when we feel those secateurs, but then God will be glorified, when we produce that good fruit God desires of us, as his church, his children. And here is a thought for you, the vine dresser, the gardener, God, Jesus is never closer to you, the vine, when he is making sure the vine is healthy and those secateurs are in his hand. Are you connected? Are prepared for pruning? Or are you going it alone?

The place where those trees were is covered with chippings, and a pile of logs await the fire. And where there was once a tree that supported life and shade, now stands empty.


Promises! Promises!
Happy Easter? or an April Fool?

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