Our Gospel lesson for this week is John 15:1-8, taken today from the Christian Standard Bible (CSB).
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me. If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples.
Jesus tells us that through living by His word, we can produce fruit for the kingdom of God. He shares God’s love, teaches us a better way to treat each other, and sends us to show others the joy we have found. Being part of God’s work strengthens our relationship with Him and His children.
Jesus reminds us that it only works when we are connected. We do good things not to fulfill a quota or check off requirements, but to demonstrate God’s love shared through us. Nothing we can do will ever be enough to save us, only the sacrifice Jesus made for us brings salvation. That is why it is so important for us to be in relationship with Him, because as He tells us “you can do nothing without Me” (v. 5).
It doesn’t matter what we do if we are not part of the vine. We were created in His image to live for Him. Without knowing God through Jesus, our lives lose their meaning.
Gracious God, we pray for Your strength to do what is asked of us in the world. Bless our work that we may show Your glory to all people. Amen.