What I like about this passage is that we are not told that we are the plants that are sown but rather that Christ is the plant and we are merely the branches. We are not plopped down and told to struggle through our lives in isolation. We are connected to Christ and through his love and God's grace bear much fruit.
I have a tomato plant this year. Laine and I planted it in a pot since we would be moving and we dutifully watered and fertilized it. It has grown from a three inch seedling to a large bushy plant. It has beautiful, fragrant leaves and a thick strong stem, but no fruit. None. Not even a flower. I am sure I did something wrong. Fortunately, everyone else I know seems to have avoided that problem this year and are blessing me with their tomatoes. I seem to have a distinct talent for growing stems and leaves but never any harvest.
James says that faith without works is dead. I say Amen. A tomato plant with no tomatoes is virtually sterile. Our faith is sterile if we leave the vine. In John, Christ says that apart from himself we can do nothing. O Lord, keep me close to you and to your love. Help me to bear your fruit.
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