5th Sunday of Easter, May 2

Gospel of John 15:1-8

I am the vine, you are the branches

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘I am the true vine,

and my Father is the vinedresser.

Every branch in me that bears no fruit

he cuts away,

and every branch that does bear fruit

he prunes to make it bear even more.

You are pruned already,

by means of the word that I have spoken to you.

Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.

As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself,

but must remain part of the vine,

neither can you unless you remain in me.

I am the vine,

you are the branches.

Whoever remains in me, with me in them,

bears fruit in plenty;

for cut off from me you can do nothing.

Anyone who does not remain in me

is like a branch that has been thrown away – they wither;

these branches are collected and thrown on the fire,

and they are burnt.

If you remain in me

and my words remain in you,

you may ask what you will

and you shall get it.

It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit,

and then you will be my disciples.’

Imagine a God that is so intimately part of Creation itself that they describe themselves as a plant. That is exactly what Jesus does here in John’s Gospel. and moreover, Jesus describes us as part of that very plant. The branches on the Vine. 

Reflecting on images in the news lately, there seems to be a lot of greed, power and violence about. In contrast, as I read this Gospel I am struck by feelings that are life giving, deeply grounded and purposeful. The image Jesus uses in this Gospel is hardly  the metaphor that a power hungry and forceful God would use. Instead, this is the metaphor of a Creator God, who loves the earth, the elements, and all of creation and sees human beings as intrinsically part of creation. Jesus offers a deep invitation – by listening to creation, for example- the way a vine grows and bears fruit, we can learn about the love of our God for us. 

Recently we celebrated Earth Day. I take some time this weekend to continue to celebrate Earth Day by listening to Creation. I go outside and notice what I am drawn to. I spend sometime in gratitude for Creation and notice how intimately connected I am. I remain in this space for sometime.

What more might my Creator be revealing to me at this moment?