“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts away every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit. But he trims clean every branch that does produce fruit, so that it will produce even more fruit.” (John 15: 1-2, Contemporary English Version)
Jesus knew that his life and its ability to bear fruit had everything to do with God, his Father. He was aware that while he could humanly go about attempting good works and a good life, it was only by yielding to God’s loving care and cultivating influence, that Jesus would really accomplish his work and grow in a way that would cause others to flourish as well.
Jesus wasn’t speaking only for himself here. He was a teacher. He was bearing witness with his words and his life to an active principle, God’s control over each one of us and the garden of our lives. Jesus reminds us through this illustration that his Father and ours is the Gardener. God planted us securely in His Life with the intention to prosper. In order to do this, God, the perfect Caretaker, tends to us continually, never leaving us to the elements of human experience or to mere opinions about ourselves and what is right.
Anything in our lives and in our concept of ourselves that doesn’t help us show forth His intention of beauty and goodness and growth, is cut away. He is going to prune you of those faults you may not realize you have as well as those fears you are well aware of. Both are weeds that hide your beauty and hinder your ability to burst into full flower.
Likewise, those good things that we are demonstrating may require renewal also. It is not always right for us to keep on doing things just the way we are doing them. We may need to start fresh every so often so that new ideas can take root. We may need to be cleansed of things like pride or false responsibility that may come with being productive, like weeds growing up alongside the good plantings.
Jesus was a true vine. He showed how wonderful and healing it was to yield to God’s wise hands, and in so doing, not only to do good, but to be the very solid root of a garden that would endure forever. See your necessary place in this abundant, flowering, beautiful Life and be willing to let God do His careful and certain gardening to make sure you are always exactly as fruitful and lovely as He intended you to be!
These messages are based on passages from the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, by Mary Baker Eddy. These books are our “pastor” in Christian Science. Come back every Tuesday and Thursday for fresh inspiration. Or get a free subscription to receive an inspirational message like this one every morning directly to your inbox by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “subscribe” in the subject line. A downloadable compilation of categorized messages is also available by request.
Thanks for the “gardening lesson”! This was so good!! As a dirt gardener I relate to this message so much. Even when I, as a gardener, used to plant the seed and do all of the human activity, I soon realized that I had little control over what happened. I think that is why farmers understand that putting the crop in God’s hands and trusting is the only way to farm. When I was tempted to gloat and brag over a really good looking productive garden I found that when things went wrong, I had to admit it wasn’t about me!! When Love cultivates and prunes and makes a lovely garden we learn that our best action is to see, smell, enjoy, and view with wonder and thanksgiving. That is GARDENING. You captured this so well!!! Thank you!!!!
Thanks so much, Pat, for those wonderful comments!