Monday, December 5, 2011
Abide in the Vine
"John 15:1-6 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."
After the big wind storm in Centerville, I've been looking at some of the thing that remain intact. Today on the walk with the dog I noticed a wasp nest. The above tree with the nest is very tall, and sits right on the main windy corridor with nothing to block it from the brunt of the wind. The house not 100 ft away lost most of it's roof, and shingles. The church steeple maybe 100 ft away was left bare without it's metal siding. Yet this wasp home remains, holding fast to the branch. This little spiraling structure built by small insects withstood 102 mile an hour winds for many hours. It endured the storm by holding to the branch. Now I'm not a big fan of wasps but I can't deny the intelligence of their nest.
By contrast the neighbors roof did not. Nor did MANY many trees. They were all piled up in the parking lot of the city park. They were gathered by men, cast forth and will likely be burned or sent to the dump.
What we build upon, and what we hold to, what we abide in is truly one of those important things to consider and get right. If a wasps nest can withstand such a violent storm..... by holding fast to a branch....whereas hundreds of branches are literally being cast aside to be burned. It all just makes me think. What vine do we hold to?
What does it mean to "abide in Christ"? To abide in His love? The scripture above teaches that if we don't abide in Him we are like the branches in the second set of pictures. They as everyone in the community already knows will be cast off, and sent to be burned, or recycled. In fact most wish it would happen faster already.
I like the parable. What branch can produce fruit except it abide in the vine? If you cut off the branch of a fruit tree it obviously cannot grow an apple at the bud. It needs to be connected to the trunk.
What beautiful fruit we can produce if we abide in Christ. But a branch cannot bear fruit of itself. Neither can we. We must get connected to, and abide in Christ. Not just be connected to an organization, but deeply connected to and abiding in something living. An actual being who lived on earth, died, and is now resurrected. A being of perfect love, a being of a joyous countenance who glorifies the Father by His existence.