If we want to bear Jesus' fruit, we must abide in Him. Fifth Sunday of Easter
Pruning shears and a branch
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 the branches. Without me, you can bear no fruit. John 15: 1-2
How many of you have done some pruning lately?
Pruning involves cutting away parts of plants. Some of these parts are dead, but many are still alive. Branches that are growing far away from the plant must be pruned. There is renovation pruning, where plants that become a tangled mess get cut back. Hard pruning is done in the winter, and it is when you cut a plant down to one inch of the ground. Pruning is like an injury to a plant. It needs time to heal.
It's a little scary to prune a plant, because there is always the fear that it will not grow back.
Here is the Good News. As Jesus says, God is the master Gardener. He is constantly pruning us, taking way what is not good for us, and putting us in places where we can thrive. Just as with a plant, sometimes God's pruning of us can look wrong to us or make us feel hurt or challenged. We may ask, God, why are you allowing this to happen to me?
Remember the words of Jesus: You did not choose me. I chose you to go and bear much fruit. The kind of fruit that lasts forever.
Let us pray. Dear Heavenly father, we thank you for pruning us so that we may bear fruit. We thank you for choosing us to be your disciples. Just as you have commanded, we will remain in your love. Amen.