Day 72 | Saturday, 30 May 2020
There is no doubt that we have felt the need for the strength of our relationship with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, more strongly during these past few months. We have needed something to hold on to with all our might as we have faced ever changing times. That strength is echoed in these verses where Jesus affirms that he is the vine rooted deeply in God and we are the branches attached to the vine. I have always loved this imagery. My first church was in the fruit basin near Lake Erie. It was surrounded by vineyards. I witnessed good farmers who took very good care in tending their vineyards and pruning the vines. I also witnessed vineyards that had been ignored and were dying because of lack of care. I have followed these passages with the hymn – I Need Thee Every Hour.
John 15:1-8 I am the true vine (CEB)
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. 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.
1 "I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer.
2 He cuts off every branch of me that doesn't bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more.
3 You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.
4 "Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can't bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can't bear fruit unless you are joined with me.
5 "I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing.
6 Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire.
7 But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon.
8 This is how my Father shows who he is - when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.
“I Need Thee Every Hour” by Annie S. Hawks, 1872 (John 15:5)
1. “I need thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
no tender voice like thine can peace afford.”
2. “I need thee every hour; stay thou near-by;
temptations lose their power when thou are nigh.”
3. “I need thee every hour, in joy or pain;
come quickly and abide, or life is vain.”
4. “I need thee every hour; teach me thy will;
and thy rich promises in me fulfill.”
5. “I need thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me thine indeed, thou blessed Son.”
Refrain: “I need thee, O I need thee; every hour I need thee;
O bless me now, my savior, I come to thee.”
O blessed Savior, we need you every hour. We need your strength. We need your love. We need to be fed from you our vine. We come to you each day with our prayers. We have concerns, fears, uncertainties, sorrow and despair as we continue through the unknown. We want to bear fruit because of our love for you. Prune us where we need to be pruned. Nurture us with your grace and love. Lord, hear our prayers. Amen
Today: Do you need some pruning? Let's pray for peace to prevail in our country.