When I was younger, my family spent a lot of time near a very large vineyard. There is really nothing quite like the look of the row after row of all of the vines piled up upon one another. They are beautiful. Yet they also hold a much deeper truth.

Vines are ridiculously strong. True, you can get to the fruit, the leaves, and even some twigs quite easily. And yes, branches can be removed when they need to be. But the roots, they go deep. Even more impressively, they can travel. The vine-root for the vineyard I grew up looking at was from Central Europe and dated back hundreds of years, possibly even further.

A vine is one of the images that Jesus uses in the passage we will be considering together this weekend as we continue on in our mini sermon series.

I am the vine, you are the branches. Connected to the deepest taproot of all we hold one another up and are able to bear the fruits that God desires of us. Yet Christ also reminds us that we will be able to tell how our connection to God is doing by that very fruit. And offers a careful nudge to those who may be neglecting the connection.

He then says some of the most important words he ever uttered.

Really, it all comes down to this: how is love growing in our lives?

That is central the central piece of Jesus’s mission just as our passage is the centerpiece of Christ’s final earthly sermon.

We’ll see you Sunday morning!

Blessings, Pastor Janie

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