Reading: John 15: 1-17
On Thursdays this summer, our campers will be learning more about the Easter during our "Living in God's Time" study.
This alternate text for this summer’s camp season shows up in the revised common lectionary on two Sundays—the fifth and sixth Sundays of Easter in cycle B. So it is very appropriate that this text is available to staff and campers for day four this summer when we celebrate the resurrection. But, there is so much in this text that I hardly know what to do in this devotion. Maybe that is why those who developed the lectionary split it into two Sundays. There is a common thread in the two paragraphs, however, and that is “bearing fruit.”
In the first 11 verses Jesus uses the word “abide” 11 times. He calls us to abide in him as he abides in the Father just as the branch abides in the vine. Jesus wants us to abide in him so that we may bear good fruit. We are to bear much fruit and be his disciples.
Then there is the striking statement in the second half of this text—“You did not choose me but I chose you.” Astounding! Why? To “go and bear good fruit.”
I can’t read this passage without seeing the folks pruning the vines at Shade Mountain Vineyard and Winery. I know when I see that process that it means more grapes, better fruit and lots of good wine.
On this Friday before the Sunday of the Passion, we would do well to remember that Jesus’ journey was one in which he kept the Father’s commandments and abided in His love. And produced good fruits beyond all human comprehension. So, too, we seek to abide in Jesus, keep his commandments and produce good fruit for all the world to see, to pick, to consume, and to enjoy. --Jim Bricker, Chaplain to Camp Mount Luther’s Summer Staff.
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