Posted on Apr 25, 2018 by Pastor Dave Whetter
Finally, the weather is getting nice. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for more of these sunny, warm days. I took Monday off to spend the day with my grandkids and the temperature was perfect, so we spent most of the day outside. The flowers and trees are in full bloom, and with the weather finally turning so beautiful, in about two weeks Jill and I will begin planting our garden, which is another reason I love the spring. We really do have fun planting our vegetables, herbs, and annual flowers. Planting our garden always brings a little extra joy into our lives.
But I also know that, as much fun as it is to plant the garden and flowers, the planting is the easy part. You see, once everything is planted, then we need to make sure we water regularly, we need to provide fertilizers, we need to weed, and, of course, with some of the plants, we need to prune them regularly. Being the caretaker of the garden is a lot of work, but without it, the garden would not produce the great vegetables and fruits that we desire.
This Sunday, we will read about another caretaker when we read John 15:1-8. The story begins with Jesus saying, “I am the vine and my father is the vine grower” (15:1). Then, a few verses later, he says, “I am the vine, you are the branches” (15:5). So, Jesus is the vine, we are the branches, and God, our Father, is our caretaker. What a comforting thought! But, you know, as I think about it, as the caretaker of my garden, I can tell you there are times when I have to do a lot of cutting and trimming to help the plants to produce. Is Jesus saying that, as the branches, there will be times that God will be cutting us back, trimming our lives, and maybe even taking some things completely out of our lives so that we might do what we have been created to do? Yes, that is exactly what Jesus is saying. My guess is, for most of us, we don’t like the idea of being pruned. We don’t like the idea of having things cut out of our lives, because for the most part we don’t like change. As Jesus says in this story, though, we have been created to bear much fruit, and the only way we can do that is to allow ourselves to be pruned and then accept those changes, and to let our lives grow.
Jesus says when we do this we will not only bear much fruit, but in doing so we will glorify God (15:8). My prayer this week is that, no matter what is happening our personal lives or in our communal lives here at Salem, we can all come to accept the changes that are happening, or that need to happen, so that we might bear the fruit that we have been created to bear.
Have a blessed week!