November 3

“I 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.”  John 15:5

            Years ago there was a section of the beltway I traveled regularly where the sound-blocking walls had just been completed. There had been some small plantings put in place for landscaping, but as yet the walls were rather stark in appearance.  Then one day I noticed a small slip of a vine that obviously was growing on the  other side of the wall where I could not see it.  But a small branch had found an opening in the wall and was growing through.  Over the months that followed it got bigger and longer, at last spreading out to give some green and some grace to the walls’ appearance.  I was glad that no one on either side of the wall had chopped the vine or the branch off.  It was doing on the highway side of the wall what the vine was meant to do on the opposite side where it had been planted—give the kind of character to that bland, brown wall that only living things can do.

            How like that branch of that vine our lives are!  Jesus said as much:  “I am the vine, you are the branches”, he said.  When we are in relationship with Christ, our lives are energized to love and care as he did; even when we find ourselves having broken through a hole in one of life’s walls, we can grow and flourish with the love of God in Christ. 
And if the  connection with Christ is broken and we stop abiding in him, we are like a vine branch broken off from the vine’s main stem.  We cannot do what we are meant to do as God’s people in Christ.

            Lord, let me so abide this day in your life giving presence that I may know the joy of your love shared with the world around me.  Amen

Read John 15:1-12

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