Our Gospel this week is John 15:1-8, taken today from the New International Version (NIV).
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
Jesus says to us “I am the vine and you are the branches” (v. 5). This tells us all we need to know, that He is our connection to God and without Him we can do nothing. For the branch, there is only one vine – it cannot disconnect and go find another; so Jesus is our only way to salvation.
Jesus has already told us “no one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). He is our sole connection to God, the living example of the love by which we were created. In Him is our hope and our strength.
We are connected for our own good, and through that connection we are nourished and taught and sent out into the world to share His love that all may come to know Him. It is our purpose in Christ to be part of His work. As fruitful branches we can do no less.
Loving Lord, we are glad to be part of all that You are doing. May Your love grow in us that we may tell others of the joy we have found. Amen.