… as Doctor Spooner may have said. In other words the cutting season for tea roses.
40 blogs of Lent, day 20
More importantly it was the pruning time for grapevines. After his last meal with his friends Jesus was on the way down to the garden of Gethsemane. The vineyards they were walking through would have been in a state of disarray, with most of the vines cut off and thrown on the ground. Jesus was talking about gardening:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. John 15:1-4
Typically, Jesus is taking the normal every day things and making something profound from it. In the sermon on the mount it was the lilies that he was considering. Here he is considering the cast offs of the vine.
When it applies to grapevines, the way to get a good crop is to prune, and cut dramatically. Left alone they will provide lots of dense shade butt little fruit (it says on garden.org). In another of those difficult to take passages, Jesus applies the pruning to us. God is not interested in growth as much as he is interested in fruit. He wants us to become effective as Christians. We want to grow, we are not interested in being cut back, because it hurts.
We can grow larger, but there is little effective without discipline.
I live in the UK. A green and pleasant land,as Blake wrote. The reason for the greenness is the wetness. Those Atlantic winds that keep us warm also bring rain, being British we bitch about the rain. Yet it is this very rain that makes Britain the country she is.
This song bt Jamie Owens sums it up.
Bible readings are from the English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.p