Sunday November 4 Pruning

Pastor’s Blog November 4, 2018 “Pruning” One of my most vivid memories of interaction with my Dad was the day he taught me about pruning. We had a small grapevine on our property that I never gave much thought about except when the grapes were ripe. One day, Dad walked me out to the vine in the Spring and said, “I want to teach you a lesson.” He proceeded to cut away the majority of the branches and wasn’t finished until it looked like he had killed it. In my child mind, I didn’t understand. It seemed wrong. Why did Dad do this? When I voiced my concern, he explained that all those extra branches greatly impacted the fruitfulness of the vine. Energy and nutrition that should be directed to the development of fruit would go into useless wood and extra leaves instead of the end product: grapes. He encouraged me to “wait and see.” He was right. That year, we had a bumper crop of grapes. He knew what he was doing. In John 15, Jesus used the grapevine to teach His disciples (including us a lesson). “I am the true vine. You are the branches. My Father is the gardener. Every fruitful branch He prunes.” Why? So it will produce more fruit and fruit that remains. Pruning is a paradox: less is more. Pruning is painful: “I like that branch and extra stuff” (not knowing that my life easily overgrows and the spiritual life, the things that are eternal get crowed out). Pruning is purposeful: it produces more fruit….a fruitful life and not one that looks good until you examine the fruit or lack of fruit. I don’t like pruning. But I choose, yes choose, to trust God the Father, the Gardener: that He loves me and knows what He is doing and has my very best at heart. Jesus revealed the secret of fruitfulness in this lesson. “Abide remain in Me. Apart from Me you can do nothing.” Pruning is the proof of a fruitful life. God wants us to make a difference as we abide and trust in Him. Pastor Tom

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