I am the vine

first_img 29 Views   no discussions Share FaithLifestyleLocalNews I am the vine by: – May 8, 2012 Sharing is caring! Tweetcenter_img Share Share Photo credit: handofgod.com.au“I am the vine, you are the branches.” We are all familiar with the phrase and with the image it suggests. Jesus refers to a connection which is both intimate and sustaining. The branch lives only as it draws sustenance from the vine. Apart from the vine, it becomes desiccated and dry; it dies. The life of the vine, quite simply, is the life of the branch.The word the Bible uses to describe this relation as it applies to us is ‘indwelling,’ a word which conveys its meaning exactly. Indwelling suggests that we inhabit a space of intimacy and trust; of security and protection.Jesus used a variety of similar expressions with the same meaning: ‘Abide in me,’ ‘remain in me,’ and perhaps the most suggestive of all, ‘make your home in me.’Home is more than a ‘residence’. It is also more than where we are just ‘comfortable,’ though comfortableness sis one of its key components. Home is where we are must truly ourselves, where we most truly live, where our hearts are. I have heard Trinidadians who have lived abroad for many decades say things like. “I don’t want to die here. I have to go home for my remaining years.” Thomas Aquinas once said, “We live more truly where we love than where we are.” Where we are may be our residence; where we love is our home.Jesus is concerned not just with how the vine lives but with how it flourishes. And the difference is obvious. Most plants are hardy. They grow with little or no attention, but they never get to the summit of their potential; they do not thrive.The vine thrives, Jess says, with ‘pruning.’ Pruning entails several moves which anyone who attends to plants makes, if they want their plants to thrive. It means shaping or directing growth, removing deadwood and dead lives, and targeted cutting of branches, and different parts of branches, to make for fuller and thicker growth.The key word here is “targeted.” The plant-keeper does not wield the shears blindly. The focus and attention is careful and particular: this branch, not that one; these leaves, not those, and so on.Pruning where humans are concerned obviously involves being on the receiving end of things. Things are done to you that you wouldn’t choose to do yourselves, things that routinely cause some form of discomfort or suffering. We may not see why we need it; or understand what it achieves; or why we can’t monitor our own growth ourselves.The answer to that, of course, is we are never the best judges in our own case. We also never see what God sees, and therefore we never truly know where our best interests and development lie.This is why pruning is targeted. It is not one mode or method fits all. It is geared to each, as each needs the pruning hand of the vinedresser, to ensure that this vine lives and thrives, and produces fruit to the height of its potential.By: Henry Charles PhDlast_img

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