While pondering this week’s lectionary text I found myself wandering the internet as I often (I mean REALLY often) will and I came across a kitschy little saying that has actually stuck with me. “People see the branches before they see the vine.” What a quaint little phrase I first thought, ok maybe I really thought what a trite little saying, but as these phrases will sometimes do they linger – like a bad advertising jingle that you just cannot get out of your mind. And, as it is with these pithy little ditties, there is a kernel of truth.
John records Jesus’ words as “I am the vine, you are the branches.” If the pithy little saying from cyberspace holds any truth then people see you and me well before they see the Vine – Jesus. How we live out our lives as Christians does determine how or IF people can see Jesus. A quick and honest look around the Vineyard might just reveal a tangled mess of branches constantly infighting. One might likely find some withering and stale, proffering sickly and sour fruit, or some excessively thorny – untouchable and off-putting. How then do those seeking the True Vine find what they need?
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