Thursday, May 14, 2009

Abiding and Fruit-bearing

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
-John 15:4-5

“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”
- John 15:8

Dear Christ Our Redeemer Family and Friends,

Over the last several months we’ve planted a number of trees (both fruit and evergreen}, and a number of blueberries, and in recent weeks a small garden. Each is doing well. The fruit trees have new leaves and blossoms on them. The evergreens have doubled in size and have tufts of new growth at the ends of the branches. The blueberries have new small blossoms. And the garden is now taking off with new growth from planted seeds. Each plant is part of the whole and to remove any parts of these plants from their source is to invite death. A branch can neither grow nor bear fruit by itself. A branch by itself will not only not bear fruit, a branch by itself will die. Living in vital and vibrant union with Christ will bring fruit. The Christian faith is built upon a relationship. That relationship has been won by Christ in His redeeming work for His people, but it looks like a relationship nonetheless. In the gospel God has restored, even surpassed, what was lost in another garden. It was in this first garden that sin brought misery and separation. Man wanted autonomy and aloneness. The vine and branches seemed irreparably severed, but God, the great Gardner, has restored what no man ever could. The vine and branches are once again joined and it is here that relationship and the fruit-bearing of being joined again to Christ exist and blossom and grow. Fruit-bearing is proof that we are connected to Him and we belong to Him. A vibrant relationship with Christ brings fruitfulness in our lives. Fruit-bearing demonstrates we are connected to the life-giving vine. In bearing fruit we prove to belong to Him as His disciples.

Desiring new growth and an abundance of fruit with you,

Pastor Dan

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