I Am The Vine

Daily Reading Plan: Luke 19:45-46
 
It is Monday of Holy Week. On this day, Jesus, disgusted by the vendors and money changers cheating people in God’s house, went into the temple and upended their tables, proclaiming, “It is written, my house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves!” Let us pray that we won’t forget one of our most important callings – to be a people of prayer, to be a church that prays. 
 
I AM THE VINE

As I type this, there is a lot of uncertainty around us. Of course, that’s true all the time, but right now it’s more than usual -- with constant news of the pandemic, predictions about the pandemic, advice about the pandemic, stories about the pandemic, etc. This devotion will be sent to you the Monday of Easter week; and as I type this in advance, we are preparing for our third consecutive Sunday of gathering for church remotely. I am assuming we are not going to be able to meet in person this Easter, so let me throw this in for free…

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:20 HCSB).

Do you see any asterisk with fine print requiring the gathering to take place within six feet of each other? Me neither. So, while it may not be ideal, let’s commit now to gather this coming Easter Sunday in whatever ways we can, and know that He will be among us. This week we are looking at John 15, which begins…

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vineyard keeper” (John 15:1 HCSB).

Later in the chapter, Jesus describes us as the branches of the vine. We’ll talk about that more in the following days; but for now, let’s just know that we are intended to be part of this life-giving true vine. Today I want to go all the way back to Genesis, to Jacob’s last words, because he makes a very interesting observation about vines that I think we need to hear today.

“Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine beside a spring; its branches climb over the wall” (Genesis 49:22 HCSB).

A healthy vine is not only fruitful, but it will climb over a wall! Similarly, fruitful followers of Christ should not be stopped by a quarantine or social distancing. There may be places we cannot and should not go, but the True Vine won’t be stopped.

“Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58 HCSB).
 
What can I do today to spread my branches? Who can I call, email, or write?

By Mark Stuart

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