“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower … Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.”
John 15.1-4, 7-9
15 ‘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.
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.
Jesus was surrounded by trees throughout his ministry. He was hailed by palm branches when he entered Jerusalem, and a few days later was nailed to a wooden cross, wearing a crown of thorns.
Jesus speaks of himself as the vine, with branches that draw their strength and fruitfulness from him. Jesus’ disciples, then and now, are invited to abide in him through prayer, and bear the pruning necessary for new growth and fruitfulness.
Prune your life and create space by taking items you no longer use to a charity shop or recycling centre.
When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze:
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art! How great Thou art!
From “O Lord my God!”,
by Stuart K. Hine (1899-1989)
Prune your stuff
Sharing and re-using things is good for the environment. Do you have unwanted things like toys or games you could give to a friend, or donate to a charity shop?
Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet #LiveLent: Care for God’s Creation – A 40-Day Challenge inspired and informed by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2020 Lent book Saying Yes to Life by Ruth Valerio (SPCK) are copyright 2020 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission. Full details of both resources are available on the Church of England website.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.