Pruned – to name Him

 ‘This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.’ – John 15.8

From Dave Atkinson:

If you have access to a garden, you may recently have spent more time out there than you might have planned. Our garden hasn’t looked quite so tidy this early in the year for as long as I can remember.

One of the conversations we’ve had is, is it too late to prune this or that. Or, we might have said; whoops, I think I’ve just cut off too much off that branch!

If you are feeling anything like me after the extraordinary events of the last couple of weeks, you may feel as if you’ve been pruned, cut back, restricted from reaching out into normal routines of work, school, clubs, meeting people and so on. You may feel cut off.

In chapter 15 of the gospel of John, Jesus tells us that, however hard we feel that we’ve been pruned, if we “remain” in Jesus – we will bear much fruit.

In this passage of the Bible, Jesus describes himself as the vine and he describes those that have committed their lives to follow him in faith as the branches. He assures us that if we remain with him, stick with him even when it is hard, we are not cut off from him. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches, and he will sustain us.

At verses 4, 5 and 8, Jesus talks about bearing fruit. He means our words, our actions and our thoughts. Jesus says that when we remain in him our words, actions and thoughts will bear fruit. What Jesus means here is that, as our words and actions reflect Jesus, God gets the glory he deserves.

During 2020, we’ve been thinking at St Pat’s about naming Jesus; speaking Jesus’ name in a natural way in our everyday conversations. Naming Jesus is a great way to give glory to God as it recognises and celebrates the love God has shown for us in sending Jesus to die for us.

We are all beginning to find new ways to connect with, and support people, from the isolation of our homes – and that is great. Who will you be speaking to today? When you speak, why not try to name Jesus when you do and share how you are remaining in Jesus, trusting Jesus, in these tough times. And that will bear fruit – it will give glory to God.  

Published by St Patrick's Church

We are a friendly Anglican church in the centre of the community of South Wallington. At the heart of our church is the wonderful news that God loves us and has demonstrated that love in the most incredible way through Jesus' life, death and victory over death. Thank you for engaging with our blog, we hope and pray it is a blessing to you.

One thought on “Pruned – to name Him

  1. Dear David, Sam and Dave – and any other writers of St Patrick’s Church Blog.

    Thank you all so much for your excellent, encouraging blogs.
    As you pastorally help to keep our community in touch and praying.
    And as you strive to meet all needs:
    – from those who may feel isolated and alone to those like me (and Ros?) who are paradoxically finding life, with all the extra communication going on, even busier than ever!! As yet a long way off from catching up on my 30+ item long “to-do-and-sort-before-I die” list. And looking forward to having the time/energy to enjoy:-
    – “Self- isolation, it’s an introvert’s dream to self quarantine”
    – – as per a line in Samuel Chaplin’s recent song with refrain: “Stockpile the loo rolls”. (Sorry to lower the tone!).
    Taking up Dave’s theme today (27th) :- “When you speak, why not try to name Jesus when you do and share how you are remaining in Jesus”, the situation has actually provided several opportunities to do just that.

    Just one example:-
    Our sons are both struggling to keep their small businesses afloat (they both fall into the “5 %” gap missed by the Chancellor’s so called help for the self-employed) but Alastair posted a positive message on his Freebird Interiors facebook page/blog-:
    “A great old bit of wisdom from Rudyard Kipling – I’m sure many of us will know this poem already but for me reading it again now it takes on new significance. We can get through this, and even let it bring out the best in us” – quoting all of Rudyard Kiplings poem If.
    Of which an extract ( ex: http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_if.htm ) is:-

    If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;

    To which I responded, quoting from Sam’s blog of 26th :-
    Appropriate words from Rudyard Kipling for these times.
    One approach is to “meet Disaster by remembering past Triumphs”, as our Church blog today 26th reminded us, is what (to be King) David deployed to gain confidence:-
    “In 1 Samuel 17 we read how God used a young shepherd boy named David to defeat Goliath. David was visiting his older brothers on the front line of the battle when he heard Goliath mocking the Israelites and their God. David asked the king for permission to fight Goliath. Armed with five smooth stones and a confident trust in the Lord, David defeated the Philistines’ champion. The underdog had won the battle.
    In this remarkable story, there is a brilliant line from David who confidently states, “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Notice how David recalls the times gone by when the Lord had been his rescuer and refuge. David remembers what the Lord has done for him in the past and he uses it to help himself confidently press on.
    You may be facing a challenging time at the moment. Allow me to encourage you to recall and remember times gone by when the Lord has been there for you. Perhaps spend a moment thinking about a time in your life when the Lord helped you through (or as David would say, ‘rescued you from’) a difficult time.
    Why not say a prayer now asking the Lord to grant you a ‘godly confidence’ that trusts in Him at this time of uncertainty?”
    Alastair has about 4000 “followers”. God willing maybe some will read that.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: