Today’s Reading: John 15:1 (NIV)
1 [Jesus said,] “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.”
Do you have runaway weeds in your garden? I’ve been nursing a jammed toe since mid-July, and, have not spent any significant time outside working in my garden beds. This is truly unfortunate, because I do enjoy growing and cutting summer flowers. I confess that my flower beds are not very pretty this year; I have managed to grow a mega crop of weeds. The weather has been near perfect this August; not too hot with lots of rain. Runaway weeds are happily growing and they are doing their best to choke out the plants in my garden bed.
Whenever I work outside, I think about the time my father spent in his garden. He would have a cow if he saw my garden beds right now. This man would come home after working all day in the summer sun, to shower and change and go back outside and work until dark. Gardening was something he truly enjoyed. The neighbor children all liked to play in our front yard, because our grass was the softest, greenest, most fertile grass on the block. It was kind of like walking on a thick, billowy green carpet. You could tumble on it and not get hurt. Daddy weeded and edged the yard routinely. There was never a dandelion in sight.
When our babies were young, we used to spend time outside weeding the garden beds together. It took awhile for the children to figure out what to pull and what to leave. Some vines are rather pretty and can seem ornamental at first. After a closer inspection, we begin to tell the difference between a pesky weed and a healthy plant. This is one summer when I wish my children were little again, so I could have them help me outside. The laughter we shared in the garden will remain in my heart forever.
Jesus said that He is the true vine and that His father is the master gardener. There is no mistaking the risen Christ. His vine is healthy and strong; it produces real fruit that offers life giving food to all who will consume it. The master gardener carefully prunes away the runaway weeds, allowing the true vine to flourish and grow. He cares for the vine, and all its new growth, as only a loving Father can.
Can you tell the difference between the true spiritual vine and a runaway weed? If you are seeking the Truth, ask the Master Gardener to lead you to the one true vine: Jesus Christ.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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