Greetings, Third Church Friends!
The Easter-season lectionary readings direct us to consider some of the more familiar stories from John’s record of Jesus’ life, even though we focus mostly on the gospel according to Mark in Year B of the cycle. Last week, we were sheep. This Sunday, we think about what it means to be branches of the vine of Jesus.
The thing about metaphors is that they are open to interpretation, good and bad. Folks often try to figure out some underlying, literal meaning—which kind of misses the point. Metaphors are supposed to prod us to think, wondering how we fit into the story. Sometimes it is this way, sometimes that. The Bible is the living Word of God because the Holy Spirit continues to mess with our minds (in good ways) to keep us stretching and growing in faith and in our commitment to the work Jesus began long ago.
In some ways, Jesus’ describing himself as the true vine gives us permission simply to rest in our connection with the great fellowship that is the Body (Vine) of Christ. Jesus invites us to abide in him: to rest, remain, stay connected to, cast our lot in with. “Abide” is the kind of word that shows up, not so much in modern movie scripts, but in old, staid, historical stories. Comfort, commitment, sticking with it, trust. Even though the word seldom crosses my lips these days, I appreciate it for the sense of stability it conveys. Useful for these challenging days.
I will find something more to say about abiding in the true vine that is the Body of Christ by Sunday. I am enjoying the spirit of peace and calm that is filtering into me as I think these thoughts. Who knows what will come to my mind by Sunday.
See you in church!
Office: 585-271-6513, ext. 105; Cell: 618-606-1053 (after hours; emergencies)