Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Vines And Branches

“I am the vine and you are the branches” is a snippet from today’s Gospel reading from John (15:1-8).   This sounds like the vine is all important.  Without the vine the branches die.   Without the vine, the branches can do nothing.   Of course, this comparison is made with Jesus in mind.  He is the vine, and we bear fruit when we are attached.  Makes sense.

However, the vine is at the mercy of the branches from which the leaves grow to produce the carbohydrates necessary for vine growth.   We all remember photosynthesis in which carbon dioxide and water combine to produce glucose (sugar) and oxygen.  Importantly, light energy is critically important for this reaction and conversion.  Without light there’s no oxygen, and life (with some exceptions) is doomed. 

The vine, Jesus, depends on all of us leaves to sustain him.    In the words of biologists, it’s a mutualism relationship with each benefiting and depending on the other for sustenance and survival.

With spring here and summer around the corner, leaves are out, and we’re reminded to tend to the vines.  We do that by loving God and our neighbor, as well as ourselves (don’t forget).   For those of us who don’t or just won’t, remember our Gospel:  “Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.”   Dead branches get pruned and burned.  

So, let’s turn our leaves to Christ’s light and make some fruit.  It’s far better than the hot and smoky alternative.

Deacon David Pierce

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