The Upper Room devotional reflection for Monday, May 18th comes to us from Renae Aberdeen of Indiana.
John 15:1-10 NRSV 1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 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. 5 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. 6 Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
On the island of Trinidad where I grew up, some of the agricultural crops include pumpkin, watermelon, passion fruit, and tomatoes. All these fruits grow on vines. In John 15, Jesus spoke about a vineyard. The purpose of the vine is to provide support and to send food and water to the branches. As long as the branches are connected to the vine, they will bear fruit. Occasionally the gardener must prune the branches. This process is important because it maintains the health of the branches, strengthens them, and encourages the branches to produce more fruit.
Jesus is our vine and we are his branches. As long as we are connected to Jesus, we will be provided with the nourishment, support, and love that we need to live as true followers of Christ. Staying connected to Jesus involves studying the Bible, prayer, and fellowship with other believers. The Holy Spirit works within us to bear fruit. Our fruit consists of godly actions such as forgiveness and compassion. Our obedience to Jesus’ commands brings glory to God.
Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, for giving us your strength and support. Help us to remain connected to you so that we may bear much good fruit. Amen.
– Renae Aberdeen
As we continue to navigate the Cocid-19 pandemic, we have been afforded an opportunity to evaluate what is truly important in our lives. Relationships we may have taken for granted, are now cherished and nurtured. We have rediscovered the impact our family and friends have on our daily well-being. The routine holiday gatherings and meals have taken on a new luster, as we have been prohibited to partake. As we emerge from this season of sheltering-in-place and social distancing, let us take the lessons learned with us.