The Fifth Sunday of Easter – Being Connected to the Divine (The Gospel Passage)

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 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)

Last year when the focus and theme of “A Simple Desire” was Reading the Anabaptist Bible, I commented on these verses from the gospel of John. [July 25, 2014 ] I also commented on them three years before that, if you want to go back that far in the blog history. [July 25, 2009 ] So I am not overly inclined to comment on it again, nor find a new perspective. If you are unfamiliar with the meaning and understanding of these verses, I would encourage to look at what I and others have to say about it.

These verses reflect how many people see their connection to Jesus and God as. But if I said more, my writing would evolve into yet another explanation, so I must force myself to refrain. The way these verses explain how believers connect to God is basic to many Christians understandings explains why it is used and cited often. The Revised Common Lectionary uses it, as does the book Reading the Anabaptist Bible and I am sure many other books and essays. That it appears in the gospel of John shows its connection to the spiritual nature of Jesus, as the gospel of John explores that aspect. It also says a great deal about God; and no, I am not going to go into an explanation of that, for the above reason.

What then is there to say about this passage? Only that there are many ways to live out one’s Christianity. From the establishment of the Early Christian Church, that has been true. Some have lived practical Christian lives, doing as Jesus Christ would want. Others have lived contemplative lives, thinking deeply and studying scripture. One path is not better than the other.

What I would hope and pray for you, beloved reader, is that your connection to Jesus and God is strong and vital. With that type of relationship you can accomplish much and bring much glory to God. Selah!

[P.S. When I re-read this online, I felt I did you, beloved reader, a disservice by some of my phrase choices. I tried to tidy it up! Shalom!]