This Sunday we will be meeting at Lucy Read for the first time as a core team to get a feel for the inside, pray about what God wants to do in us and through us, and dream about what it could look like. We are really excited!
There has been a passage that I have been reflecting on in John 15:
1″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[a] so that it will be even more fruitful.”
There are two images that come to mind when I reflect on these two verses. The first one is of a gardener. Anyone who has made any attempt to create a garden know that it takes work, dedication, persistence, patience, and even tenderness as you interact with the vegetation. However, the greatest is an expectation of fruit, a harvest, a result and as I read those first two verses I have this picture that comes to mind of our heavenly Father who is intimately involved in creation and there is wild vegetation growing throughout and every day, ever hour, every moment He is gently tending to the garden.
The second image is that of a branch. The words describe branches that are cut off and pruned so that it might bare more fruit. Through faith in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection I am connected to the true vine but there are still branches in me that need to be pruned. Like any real vine there are branches that have wrapped around other vegetation, buried parts of themselves under leaves, dirt, and debris; and the pruning will be difficult or even painful as parts of the branch are cut away.
At first glance the pruning seems unnecessary, neglectful, or even spiteful. It is difficult to lose some of those branches. We have become very “attached” to them. Some of them are dead and need to be removed, and some of them are healthy and bearing some fruit, but sometimes they are cut away for the greater whole, “So that we might be even more fruitful.”
As a church, as we gather at Lucy Read to pray, dream, and cry out to our Lord to move amongst us I am confident there will be some pruning that takes place in our lives individually and collectively. It will be difficult, and perhaps we will resist at times, but ultimately it is for our great good because it will be for His greater glory.