Day 321 | Wednesday, 3 February 2021
Now that Phil has predicted 6 more weeks of winter, we can settle in for more of the same. It has been my experience that no matter what the fury creature does on his special day, we usually have 6 more weeks anyway. I am not sure how he saw his shadow yesterday morning while it was snowing. Must have been the bright lights.
For any of you who have visited the north county during the fall, you know how many vineyards exist. This is the time of year when the vineyards are being pruned for the up coming growing season. Thinking about this today I was reminded of the following scripture from John.
John 15:1-8 I am the true vine
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vineyard keeper. 2 He removes any of my branches that don’t produce fruit, and he trims any branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit.
3 You are already trimmed because of the word I have spoken to you.
4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. A branch can’t produce fruit by itself, but must remain in the vine. Likewise, you can’t produce fruit unless you remain in me.
5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit. Without me, you can’t do anything.
6 If you don’t remain in me, you will be like a branch that is thrown out and dries up. Those branches are gathered up, thrown into a fire, and burned.
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want, and it will be done for you.
8 My Father is glorified when you produce much fruit and in this way prove that you are my disciples.
In the fall, I prune some of the bushes in the neighborhood. Some of them I cut way back and wonder if they will grow back in the spring. I have witnessed amazing growth and blooms from some that I have trimmed. I like to believe that the surprising beauty that results from what at times appears to be harsh cuts, may be one of the reasons Jesus chose the pruning imagery to describe how God works in his children.
As in the above scripture, Jesus says, , “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. . . . Every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful” (vv. 1–2).
“Jesus’ words remind us that in the good times and bad, God is always working in us toward spiritual renewal and fruitfulness (v. 5). During “pruning” seasons of suffering or emotional barrenness, we may wonder if we’ll ever thrive again. But Christ encourages us to continue to stick close to Him: “No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (v. 4). As we continually draw spiritual nourishment from Jesus, the resulting beauty and fruitfulness in our lives (v. 8) will show the world God’s goodness.” Adam R. Holz
“Gracious God, you are the vine-grower, who tenderly prepares the ground and selects the good stock. Through the words and love of your Son, gently prune the dead parts of our lives - that which has grown rotten - decayed by our resentments, our pride, our selfcenteredness and our greed. Help us to draw deeply upon the nourishment of the true vine, that we, the branches, may bear the rich fruits of the life of the Resurrection. We pray this in Christ's name. Amen”
Thought: Where are the branches in my life that need to be pruned to be more productive for God?
Today: Prayers for those tending the vineyards.