The Holy Pruning

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Today in Acts, we see more discussion about whether new believers needed to be circumcised and obey the Mosaic law. We also see Paul and Barnabas reporting in Jerusalem what God had done with them. In today’s Gospel reading from John 15, we hear Jesus say, “I am the vine, you are the branches…without me you can do nothing.”

Where I’m from in Florida, we often get these weedy vines that seem to come out of nowhere and take over a bush or tree. If you can’t find the roots, you cut off the vine as low as you can. When you do, everything from that point up dies. It always gives me a stark reminder of Jesus’ words. If we cut ourselves off from Him (sin), we begin to whither away and die.

Jesus also speaks about the pruning process. “He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.” Now, I know that plants don’t have a central nervous system, but if they did, I would imagine that the pruning process would be very painful. A branch doesn’t have to be dead to be pruned. You cut it off if it is not bearing fruit. So it is with us. Those things in our lives that are not bearing fruit for the Kingdom – addictions, anger, lust, jealousy…the list goes on and on – must be pruned away. That can be very painful, can’t it? But it is only then that we will truly bear good fruit. God will see you through the pain.

Father, we ask you to prune away from us all the things that keep us from bearing fruit. We give you glory in the pain, and offer our fruit up to you. Amen.

Today’s Readings

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1 comment

  • Carl: May 13, 2020

    About six months ago, we got together with our former pastor. When talking about some of the dissension within our Church today, he pointed out that there has been dissent since the very beginning. He explained that Peter wanted to strictly adhere to the old laws (circumcision) and Paul disagreed. He then quipped, “If Peter had won that argument, can you imagine how long that line would have been?!”

    Thank you for providing a start to the list of things that I need to prune from my life. Yes, the impediments to eternal life must be pruned away. However, since “We will never be free of trials and temptations as long as our earthly life lasts,” (Thomas á Kempis) I need to remember that I cannot do this alone. Without Him, I can do nothing; with him, all things are possible.

    PS – Florida is not the only place (i.e., NY) that has those vines.! :) With the arrival of Spring, we are starting to see those plants that were cut back in the Fall return to life – along with the Trumpet Vines that will choke out everything if left unchecked.

    Have a Blessed day!

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