The True Vine
To bear fruit, we must be connected to Jesus.
A lamp; an extension cord; a tree branch
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I’m sure you all know the song, "This Little Light of Mine." I’m going to sing it, and I want you to sing along. While we do, I’ll hold up this light and shine it all around. (Start to sing the song, but stop when you notice that the light isn't shining.) What’s wrong? My light isn't shining. (Wait until someone notices that it isn't plugged in.) Oh, the problem is, my light isn't plugged in. (Plug the lamp in).
Now that we’re plugged in, let’s try it again. (Lead kids in singing.)
That was much better with the lamp shining brightly. It's pretty hard for a light to shine when it isn't connected to the power source. Actually, it’s not just hard; it’s impossible!
It reminds me of something Jesus said in the Bible. He told His disciples a story to help them understand why it’s important to stay connected to Him. But He didn’t use a lamp. In His example there was a grapevine. A vine is a plant with a lot of branches growing out from it. The branches have fruit on them. So grapevines have grapes on them.
Think about a branch that’s been broken off of a tree or a vine. (Hold up tree branch). What happens to it? It withers up and dies. It can’t ever have fruit on it again; it’s not good for anything except firewood. (Discard broken tree branch).
Jesus said, "I am the vine and you are the branches. If you remain in me, you will have much fruit, but apart from me, you can do nothing." Jesus wants us to produce fruit. Good fruit, like kindness, generosity, and faithfulness. Most of all, He wants us to love others as He has loved us.
But we can’t do it on our own. Just as the lamp must be plugged in before its light can shine, and just as the branches must be connected to the vine before they can produce fruit, you and I must stay connected to Jesus to produce the good fruit that God expects of us.
Dear God, help us remember that we need to stay plugged into Jesus if we’re going to produce the kind of fruit You expect. In Jesus' name, amen.