Daily Devotion – May 5, 2021 – Pastor Brian Hansen

John 15:1-8 

15”I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. 

I’m not a very good gardener, but I still like to plant and play in the dirt and do my best to grow fruit and vegetables every year.  And even though my knowledge of how to grow things is woefully limited, every year I still plant seeds hoping and trusting that they will grow. This week we have a Gospel where Jesus is talking about the work of gardening.

Jesus is meeting with his disciples on the day we call Maundy Thursday the same day that he washes his disciples feet and institutes the Lord’s meal.  Jesus is meeting with his disciples and he is attempting to communicate what matters.  Jesus is saying goodbye to his friends. And he says, “I am the vine. But you. You are the branches.”  Or in other words, you have everything you need. I am with you. And as you bear fruit by tending to those in need around you then the love of God will be found in you.

In this goodbye, conversation Jesus is telling his disciples both then and now that all that we need for the work set before us is being provided by the God who claims us in love and who calls us forth to share the gospel.  We have all we need to grow the kingdom because we are being cared for by the master gardener.  Thanks be to God for the one who tends to us so that we can grow.

Let us pray:  Gardener of our lives, help to prune the parts of us that prevent us from growing into the people you call us to be.  Help us to bear good fruit that feeds those around us so that they might see how beautiful we are in you.  AMEN