We once had a clematis die mysteriously. Slowly from the top the flowers died and the leaves turned brown. It turned out on closer inspection that “someone” had sliced the stalk at ground level whilst enthusiastically mowing the lawn. The clematis could not survive as it had been severed from its source of water and nutrients.
The Vine and the Branches
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
A branch cannot survive, never mind bear fruit, if it is not longer attached, part of the whole of the plant.
Jesus uses this analogy for his people. He is the vine, the strong main support, the conduit of all the branches need to survive and thrive. To not remain in him, is to no longer be a part of him and his life.
So how do we remain in God?
We need to spend time with him, listen to him, reflect, let it soak in…
Jesus is the vine, are we fruit on his branches?
are my sustenance,
the one who feeds and nourishes me.
May I remain attached to you,
drawing from you,
maintaining my connection –
that I may continue to grow in you
and produce your fruit