The Ever-Giving Vine

John 15:4

God is the gardener, Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches. I have been interested in the relationship between the three of them. There are many references to the mutuality of the relationship:

“….Remain in me, as I also remain in you…”
“….you remain in me and I in you…..”
“….I am the vine; you are the branches….”
“….you remain in me and my words remain in you…..”
“….Father loved me, so I have loved you….”
“….love each other as I have loved you….”

The branch receives nutrients from the vine. It receives love. And by receiving love, it gives love back. The branch cannot do anything to make itself grow or live. How can a branch do more or be more? Can it make its soil nutritious? Can it make it rain? Can it make the vine give it what it needs and wants? It cannot succeed or fail. It lives. And God is the gardener giving the vine and branches what they need right when they need it. They receive it, and by receiving give love back.

What is the branch without the vine? What is the vine without the branch? What are the vine and branch without the gardener? And what is the gardener without them? The three are essential to each other. Working together. Giving and receiving. Abandoning, surrendering, trusting. Each gives and receives not knowing what will happen.

The gardener tends his vine and branches. He can’t not tend to them. The vine nourishes the branches. It can’t not nourish them. The gardener and vine are lavishly giving to the branches. Never stopping. Always tending, always nourishing. Always. Doing what they do because that is who they are. They cannot do otherwise. They do not need the branch to do anything.

There is a lot of shared enjoyment between a gardener and his garden. How he loves and enjoys his creation, and the creation receives, and in that gives so much back to him.

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