Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cultivating Fruit on the Vine - Part 1

In the rolling hills of Maryland, vineyards are becoming more prevalent. It is amazing to watch the cycles of the growing season. In the early spring the vine is barren of leaves and branches have been trimmed close.   

It seems counter-intuitive that cutting back produces more?

Jesus draws an instructive illustration to the vine... and I wonder..

...what is the function of the branch?  
...what does it mean to be fruitful?  
...what value is gained by pruning?  

Grapes bear fruit on the green shoots that arise from one-year-old canes. Pruning encourages the production of fruit in the current season, and renewing young canes for the next year. It is interesting that old canes, the ones that produced fruit the current season, will not produce again.

Fruit is only produced from new growth on the vine
as the necessary ingredients flow through the branches

Jesus says: “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.  JOHN 15:1-4

Pruning concentrates the energy of the vine
so that the most productive branches are nurtured.

Pruning thins out the leaves, allowing more sunlight access to the remaining leaves. These vital ingredients encourage roots to penetrate deeply into the soil. As we remain connected to the vine, HIS nutrient of love flows into us, changes us, enables us to grow.  

In what ways is my life connected to the vine, 
in such a way that God's loves flows
and allowing the light to penetrate through?

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