Friday Prayer, April 28, 2017

berry-bush-cinqueterre

From my time in Italy when I studied abroad in college (Fall 2005)….dreaming of Cinqueterre….

Spring blessings to each of you. I have always classified myself as a “fall” person – autumn was my favorite season with its rich hues, crisp running weather, and all-things-apple. But I realized something this year. My new favorite time of year is spring. The past few years, my soul’s been groaning with the earth for a re-birth and reminder of new life…of life that was growing beneath cold, hard dirt for months, seen only by God.

And so the blossoms and buds are tangible hope to my heart right now. I am opening anew to the promises of God that I might blossom myself. And you are too.

Along the lines of budding growth, I read something this week causing me to understand Jesus’ words about the “vine and the branches” in a very different way.

In John 15:5, Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will bear much fruit.”

In the past, I’ve read this as the connection each of us has to God – that by being connected to God, we are rooted in our Love Source. Our lives blossom into outpourings of this love because of our connection to the Vine.

What my reading this week challenged and convicted me to consider, though, was how this analogy of the Vine speaks to our connection not just with Christ, but with each other. And to go one step further, to people we even don’t like.

What if, by claiming connection to Christ, we are then inherently linked to others? To all others? To the people we are struggling to love and the people who frustrate us and the people who make purposeful choice after choice away from goodness?

Christ draws each of us – just as we are – to himself, and so if we are branched with Christ, then we are with one another too.

Recognizing this is exactly where God wants us to start.

***

Loving Christ,

Your love force flows through me –

through each of these branches,

your branches.

Even as I struggle to see and love the goodness in another,

your life current nourishes us

with the same sustenance.

 

Maybe my first step

is to simply live into our connection

through you.

 

To unfurl my leaves, soak in the sun, the rainfall,

and in doing this,

open my heart to you

and every single other….

 

To keep all veins open

for transformative possibilities

that come not through my own doing,

but through being connected with you –

the One who can and does

bring connection where we

never thought possible.

 

Today, I will celebrate being a part of

the Vine, and rest in the

work you will do.

You only ask me to stay connected.

You will do the rest.

 

Amen.

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