Our Gospel this week is John 15:1-8, taken today from the New American Standard Bible (NASB).
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.”
Jesus uses an example from nature to help His followers understand the importance of our connection to God through Him. Just as branches cannot survive on their own, we are lost without our relationship with our Creator. When we abide in Him, we are nourished and grow in grace.
This connection is not only for us, but as a vine and healthy branches spread, so does the kingdom of God. Through our relationship we are taught and strengthened that we might spread the Good News in the world. This is God’s plan for us, to be part of His work through faith.
Growing in God’s love enables us to live more fruitful lives, reaching out to those who do not know Him. Sharing our story with others deepens our trust as He leads us to those who need to hear it. God’s grace is for all who will accept Christ as our Savior and follow Him.
Loving Lord, we want to be fruitful branches of Your vine. Help us to learn and grow that Your truth may be known by all. Amen.