Tuesday, March 31, 2009

clusters of virtue...

My love for gardening is theoretical and my abilities are non-existent which is a pretty decent reminder that I am not the vine or the vine-dresser. That must make me a branch. Rev. Tilden exhorts us to fill our small branch with the same "sap of life" that flows through the vine...

THE TRUE VINE (Scripture Readings)

"I AM the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

John xv.
THE TRUE VINE (Tilden's Meditation)

JESUS is supposed to be passing with his disciples from the Upper Room to the Mount of Olives; and he, ever listening, hears the lesson God had written on the vine. He was the vine of God's planting; his disciples were the branches. But they would not all cleave to the vine. Some would drop off, like Judas; some would soon wither under the hot rays of temptation and deny him, like Peter. Jesus spoke of a union, not of carpentry, but of growth. Let us hold fast to the fruit-bearing result of that union, under the pruning and training hand of The Great Vine Dresser. When we see a branch bending under the weight of ripe clusters, we do not ask if it abides in the vine; so the clusters of virtue prove that our branch is in living union with the living Vine. Proximity cannot make union; distance cannot break it. Let the same sap of life that fills the vine flow continually into our little branch also, that so we may Abide in The Vine.


David G. Markham said...

What a great metaphor!

Thank you for sharing.

I visit your blog regularly for spiritual sustenance. Thank you for being here.

All the best,

David Markham

PeaceBang said...

I honestly don't understand this metaphor in the agricultural sense. When I visit Greece and Turkey I'm going to have my tour leader show me some plants that Jesus would have known and explain how the vine/branch thing works.

I'm pretty good at growing herbs and tomoatoes. And weeds, which I believe Mr. Emerson said was a flower whose virtues had yet to be discovered, is that right?