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Grapevine

Grapevine

31 August 2011

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

Scripture:

2 “Son of man, how does a grapevine compare to a tree? Is a vine’s wood as useful as the wood of a tree? 3 Can its wood be used for making things, like pegs to hang up pots and pans? 4 No, it can only be used for fuel, and even as fuel, it burns too quickly. 5 Vines are useless both before and after being put into the fire! (Ezekiel 15:2-5 NLT)

As I read this, 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. Then when we drive through the same vineyards 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 grapevine 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 old branch-wood is pruned off, it’s good for nothing. It’s fibrous and punky and can only be cast aside.

Jesus said to his disciples (and us) 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.”

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 must allow the Father to 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! Sometimes it’s tough being a grapevine branch during pruning season! But don’t give up! Fruit-bearing season is coming soon!

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) And Father, please don’t pass by and leave me un-pruned. I long for and eagerly await the next season of fruitfulness. I’m in your hands. Amen.

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