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A Vine's Wood

A Vine's Wood

01 September 2010

Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 15-16; Psalm 70; Revelation 6

Scripture:

2 “Son of man, how would you compare the wood of a vine with the branches of any tree you’d find in the forest? 3 Is vine wood ever used to make anything? Is it used to make pegs to hang things from? 4 “I don’t think so. At best it’s good for fuel. Look at it: A flimsy piece of vine, thrown in the fire and then rescued—the ends burned off and the middle charred. Now is it good for anything? 5 “Hardly. When it was whole it wasn’t good for anything. Half-burned is no improvement. What’s it good for? (Ezekiel 15:2-5 MSG)

As I read this, it brought to mind Jesus’ words in John 15, “I am the vine and you are the branches. You cannot bear fruit unless you remain in me. Without me you can do nothing.” I thought about the vineyards in the Horse Heaven Hills between the Columbia River and Prosser on Washington Highway 221. When we drive through there in the summer or early fall, the vines are so lush and full of leaves and grapes. When we drive through there in winter or early spring, the vines have been pruned back to only the main stem and a few short branches. The wood of the branches is burned or chipped for mulch.

The wood of the vine branches is only good for bearing fruit. It is wonderfully productive in its season of fruit-bearing, then it has to be cut off so new growth can bear the next season’s fruit. After it is pruned off, it’s good for nothing. It’s fibrous and punky and can only be cast aside.

Jesus is the vine. He is rooted deeply in the eternal purposes of the Father. He is incredibly alive and fruitful. We are the branches. When we are attached to Jesus in vital daily life-flow, we are instruments of his fruitfulness. We flourish and bear fruit.

Then we have to let the Father prune us and we must let go of the wood that bore the last season’s fruit so that as the season turns, new life and fruitfulness can burst out where the old wood was cut off. Ouch!

Prayer:

Father, 23 I know, Lord, that a person’s life (my life) is not his own (my own). No one is able (I am not able) to plan his own (my own) course. 24 So correct me (prune me) , Lord, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die. (Jeremiah 10:23-24 NLT)

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