Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches.” The Bible makes numerous other references to vines. “Now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard” (Isa. 5:3). “Yet I planted you as a choice vine, from the purest stock” (Jer. 2:21). “You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it” (Ps. 80:8). Now Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches.”
Dave, a man in my Bible study class, looked thoughtful as the group discussed this passage. He then said, “You know, I have a wonderful picture in my mind of the vine and the branches, and I think of that being Jesus and me. And God is the gardener who prunes when it’s necessary.” Dave laughed and confessed, “And with me, sometimes it really is necessary.” He then continued, “I also love the idea that other branches are woven around my branch. That’s all of you and also people I don’t even know. We are connected and need to bear fruit.”
We are the branches—now, today. God ensures our productivity. Jesus’ instruction to his disciples involves connectedness and responsibility. We pray and bear fruit. Jesus in his ministry gave many clues as to what bearing fruit could look like: forgiving, loving, caring for orphans and widows, feeding the hungry, visiting those in prison, releasing captives, welcoming the stranger, and so on.
Vines sometimes chaotically intermingle but retain a sense of being braided together. Again a braid has three parts: the vine, the branches, the fruit; Jesus, us, acts of love.

God of vines who prunes carefully, hold me in your love and encourage me to look at the fruit I am bearing. Amen.

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer John 15:1-8

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Leccionario Semanal
April 23–29, 2018
Resumen de la Escritura

Two primary themes emerge from our readings for this week. In Psalm 22, we find the promise that even faraway nations will turn and worship the Lord. The book of Acts provides partial fulfillment of this promise. Through the action of the Holy Spirit, a court official from distant Ethiopia hears the gospel and can take it home to his native land. The Johannine readings focus on the theme of abiding (remaining) in God. “God is love,” the epistle states, so all who claim to abide in God manifest love to the world. The author pushes the point: If we maintain animosity toward others, we cannot claim to remain in the love of God. In John, Jesus states that we must remain in him if we want to bear good fruit for God.

Preguntas para la reflexión

• Read Acts 8:26-40. What boundaries do you draw? How would God view such boundaries given what you know of God?
• Read Psalm 22:25-31. How will you create a daily remembering of God? How will you tell the story?
• Read 1 John 4:7-21. How do you comb out the tangles in your life—in relationships, in your work setting?
• Read John 15:1-8. How secure do you feel about being attached to the vine? What has God done in your life to make it more productive?

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