02/O5/2021 | ABIDE IN ME
15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
15:2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.
15:3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you.
15:4 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.
15:5 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.
15:6 Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
15:8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
- How does the image of Jesus as “true vine” illustrate Jesus is?
- This image is both comforting and convicting. Jesus notes that pruning takes place (v. 2). Since the vine was an often-used metaphor for the people of Israel in the Old Testament, we know that Jesus’ words are both for individuals and for the community. To truly abide, we all need pruning. Pruning is necessary for growth. Pruning can be a painful process, and often one that we avoid. Have you experienced a time when you felt God was “pruning you”?
- How might St. Thomas as a church practice pruning? What ministries need to be pruned so that the church’s focus can be on fruitfulness to the community at this time?
- What activities might God be asking you to prune in your life? Even during this time, we have many options clamouring for our attention – news, social media, entertainment, people, and so on. How might we prune some good things for the better activity of abiding in Christ?
- How can your “Connect Group” help you abide in Christ?
- What is a practice you would be willing to try this week to help you abide in Christ? (Some examples for you: Being still, silence, meditation, listening to inspiring music, practicing attentiveness, reading Scripture, prayer, journaling, fasting, or something else.)
End with a prayer.
God bless for the week ahead.