This autumn, our worship follows our Church School curriculum, Seeking Peace Together. We are learning in worship alongside the youngest members of our community.
Throughout his teaching and preaching ministry, Jesus used lots of metaphors to explain what it means to live a faithful life, connect with God and bring about the realm of heaven: sowing good seed on fertile soil, the exponential growth potential of a mustard seed, light shining in the darkness, separating sheep and goats. Sometimes these metaphors are so strong, clear and durable that I wonder how we can improve upon them or understand them any better than how they come across in his original teaching.
On Sunday, we’ll hear his metaphor of the vine and branches (John 15:1-17). Jesus describes God as the vinegrower, himself as the “true vine,” and the disciples are the branches off of that vine. And the life-force coursing through the whole plant is Love. You can tell if it’s a healthy vine if it bears good fruit.
As straightforward as that might appear, few of us in this congregation live in agrarian metaphors. They may not have the same resonance as they did to Jesus’ original hearers. What metaphors would Jesus use if he were preaching directly to us today?
On Sunday, we’ll explore what it means to be a branch off of the true vine. What vine are you grafted onto? How does it bear the fruit of God’s love? What pruning and fertilizing do you need to do? And how does it help us sink more deeply into God’s kind of peace?
As always, I look forward to exploring and growing together.
Image credit: christianity.com