Names of Christ: Who Do You Say That I Am?
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
When I read this passage about Jesus being the Vine, I am always intrigued about what that means for us as the branches. As we hear in the imagery from John, we are reminded that we are connected to Christ. We are reliant upon that connection to bear fruit, to accomplish good in this world, and to experience abundant life.
As we consider the agricultural image further, to be attached to the Vine is not just a simple connection. From a botanical standpoint, the branch is reliant on the vine for life. There is a flow of nutrients and life from the vine to the branches. If that flow is interrupted or the branch is severed, it will wither and die. Are there things in your life that block the flow of life from Christ? How can you make sure that you are fully connected to the Vine?
We also encounter the word “abide” in this passage. When I think of God abiding in me, I think of a bird nesting. It isn’t there perching for brief rest. The bird is actually building its home. To abide means to make someplace your home and to dwell there. We are called to live in Christ and make the space in our hearts to allow Jesus to live in us.
Great God, thank You for being connected to us; for seeking to be in relationship with us. We are grateful that You abide in us and call us to abide in You. Empower us to cultivate and care for our connection to You. Help us to make You a priority today. Amen.