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