Yesterday was a pondering. Today we walked around John 15: 1-8.
”I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.”
Ask any Godlover: do you cut and kill sin with your faith? Apart from the odd on or two – the resounding answer is “yes”. Because God says sin is bad.
Ask any gardener: do you cut and kill parts of plants with your pruner? Apart from the odd one or two – the resounding answer is “yes”. Because it keeps the plant healthy.
And a few – like me – will say “whatever”. Because I am not a gardener – I don’t prune – I just chop things and cut things.
”But you love your lawn, Paul. So how often do you “prune your grass” with your lawnmower?”
(I wish He wouldn’t keep doing that sneaky stuff)
Because this morning He allowed me to form another picture. Not of pruners and branches and dead or healthy. But of love. Of trust.
Of relationship – again.
He threw paint haphazardly onto a canvas … and then finessed the mess …
Of my lawn, my grass. Able to speak. Able to converse and debate. Able to choose. Of what the grass believes.
That it is saved, that I saved it, that it will never die. And there is me: remote, but loving. Detached, but omnipotent. Eternal – until we move house. Sometimes uncaring, sometimes totally absent, sometimes starving it of moisture, sometimes flooding it with more rain than it can absorb. Consistent – but inconsistent. And to be feared. This morning He made me God as the grass sees me.
Bloody ungrateful complaining grass!
It does not see me as I am, nor does it see the world as I see the world.
Because I love our lawn: the fragrance of freshly mown grass, the colour of the changing greens, the way it responds to the rain and sun, the growth and sleep, how it is sometimes spongy soft and other times drier crispy, how it hides the dog poohs when it gets long (squelch – yeuck – no one happy!), how there are seasons I can just stand and “love” that lawn it is so beautiful, how I want to keep that lawn evergreen, watered and healthy for years – maybe for ever …
And then He asked: “Is there paradox only when “what I believe” is the sum – the totality – the “all” of Your relationship with Me?”
?? ?? ?? ?? ??
‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. John 15:1-8
The pondering continues …