Parables that keep you up at night
On the way back from the Tulsa workshop I listened to Randy Harris's "Parables that keep you up at night," in an attempt to drive late into the night. With the help of coffee, my wife, and Randy, I stayed awake to drive back to Nashville in the rain. I'm meditating this week on a parable-like idea of Jesus: the Vine (John 15). The vine is a great metaphor of Christ the roots and main vine, we the branches, and God the gardener. The Spirit of truth, the Counselor--the Holy Spirit--could be considered the one surging through the veins of the branches.
The first thing that Jesus says about the gardener is that he cuts off every branch that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes. Even the fruit bearers get cut.
Spring is here, and some of the pruning is done, but more will be done so that new growth will come. Remember today, that even if you are a fruit-bearer, you and I will get pruned. I'm keeping in mind today that I cannot bear fruit by myself. I must remain in the vine. We all must remain in Christ, receiving from him first, before we can bear good fruit.
This fruit of the Holy Spirit that Paul speaks of in Galatians 5:22-26 is not the fruit one bears alone. The fruit is of the Spirit, produced by Christ, the vine, in us and the Spirit of truth working through us, and God pruning us back for new growth.
I'm enjoying Spring today with this thought of the Vine.