First I should say that my habit about writing for this blog has been to read a prompt from Writing in the Margins and read the Bible passage, and then I just let ideas kick around my head until I feel inspired. I committed to writing as fast as I could about a verse, just letting the thoughts flow, and then I started to feel apprehensive about the whole assignment!!! After I completed the exercise, I was reminded of a writing class I took years ago. Our professor was fond of saying “Writing is a tool for thinking.” This approach of “writing freehand with boldness, joy, and urgency” proved to be a quick way to pull thoughts and connections about a passage. But for me, this felt messy, rough, and well, imperfect—not necessarily a way I would fill my margins. That being said, I feel nothing but admiration and awe for Phil Pringle for trusting the process and just sharing his wonderful thoughts with the world!!! It’s a brilliant approach to Bible Study for a busy person! It’s simple and quick and unpacks a lot of thoughts in record time! Very cool!
Here’s my messy thoughts…
Jesus is the vine and so long as we remain connected we have life and our life is so delicious as it bears healthy and delicious food. Taste and see that the Lord is good! If we let our lives become disconnected then we begin to wither and die—no more fruit comes forth. How do we stay connected to the vine? Prayer is the most powerful way to feel and experience our connectedness to the source…The TRUE LIGHT that gives light to everyone is also the vine…the vine brings nourishment and allows the branches to grow in productive way. If prayer is our lifeblood, our connection, the WORD is our rain (Isaiah 55:10-11). The WORD accomplishes its purpose in our life just as rain helps the whole plant to flourish. Sunshine for Christians is fellowship. What else does a branch need? Jesus tells us that God is the vinedresser. The final shape of what we are becoming as Christians is under the care and direction of God. God’s purpose will prevail. God starts small, like mustard seed small; what God grows becomes a blessing to all! Stay connected.
Afterthought: I was wondering about the soil. I thought of how Adam was created from a lump of clay. If you think of soil as simply being our mortality than Jesus as the vine is the one who draws from the mortal experience what we need to grow. In doing so, he teaches us how to live well.