Living Columns & Blogs

The job we should all do together on earth

John (15:1-8): This passage is the story from Jesus of a vine growing in a vineyard and it can be very comforting for many people yet painful for others. Some people have difficulty in understanding it.

In ancient times there had been stories about a vine and vineyard, so it is not something new with Jesus.

The Old Testament prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel talked about vines and vineyards. These prophets arose and spoke in times of great threat to the country and they spent their time warning the people as to what was going to happen to them if they did not behave. The prophets had a way of being able to say things so people could understand and most folks back then were familiar with vineyards so got the point easily.

When Jesus told the story of the vine and vineyards to the disciples, they would probably have put it into context with the long history of stories about the vines.

Jesus said, “I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

Christ is the true vines and we are the branches and our job is to bear fruit. That is why we have all been called together as a community.

Jesus says we are to abide in Him. And while it is true that He does say — more than once — that the vines that do not produce fruit will be removed, it is important to note that He never once suggests that it is our job to do the pruning. Nor is it our job to judge the value of the vines. We are to leave that to the owner of the vineyard — the vine grower, God the father — the only one who has the ability to measure the value.

The story of the vineyard and the vine is about everyone being connected and working together rather than of cutting off and separating. It is that when all parts are working together and connected that is when good fruit comes forth.

Everything in the vineyard is important — the ground, the soil, the roots, the vines, the leaves the branches. They are all needed and have value.

This story tells us how important it is for us all to work together to make God’s Kingdom here on earth and how each and everyone is important.

Our job is to be like the vine and work together to produce the fruit that God has put us here on this earth to produce. Let’s do it together.

I pray God’s blessings on you all.

Valerie Delooze is the pastor in the Madisonburg and Rebersburg United Methodist Churches.