“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
Connected to Christ
You know the feeling. It is a feeling of panic. Your heart skips a beat. Your mind screams, “This can’t be happening! Not now!” But it IS happening. Your phone’s battery is down to one percent. Whatever will you do?
As useful as cell phones are and as much as they are able to do for us, without being recharged they will run out of power. And when they do, they go from being powerful and useful devices to a rather useless hunk of plastic, metal, and glass. Without power, a phone is less useful than a decent doorstop.
That’s essentially what Jesus said about US if we are not plugged into HIM. Instead of a cell phone, he uses the picture of a grapevine. He called himself the vine and each of us a branch. Unless a branch is connected to the vine, it does not receive the nutrients it needs. It will die. But if it is connected to the vine, it receives what it needs and can produce bunches of beautiful grapes.
When we are connected to Jesus and his Word, our souls are fed. And we produce remarkable fruits of faith. We are more patient, kind, generous, and forgiving. Jesus’ love flows into us and out to others.
Think again about your phone. Think of all the wonderful things it can do when it is charged. Hundreds of apps doing hundreds of useful things. Now imagine yourself, charged with Jesus’ love, patience, and forgiveness and applying that love, patience, and forgiveness to others—your own “apps” as it were. But only when you are connected to him.
May God, in his mercy, keep us connected to Christ!
Lord Jesus, I know that without you I am nothing and I have no hope; without you I would die. But by your mercy and power you have connected me to you—the true vine. Keep me connected to you and your Word so that I might bear abundant fruit, today and always. Amen.
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