I Am The Vine

This is a service we had that was based on the scripture John 15 Verse 5

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

The main stages of growing vines are planting, supporting, pruning, watering and feeding and finally fruiting. So in this service, I have tried to relate these stages to how we can be fruitful branches for Jesus.

PLANTING – For vines, you have to find the right environment with the right soil and sunny position.

The same applies to our lives, we need to find the right environment to plant our lives.

Jesus talked about this in the parable of the sower. Sowing the seeds on stony or thorny ground and they did not grow, only seed sown on fertile ground grew. Do we choose fertile ground, do we make the right lifestyle choices that help us to grow? One choice we have made is to belong to a church. Here is a reading about church.

Reading ‘This Church’

We don’t pretend to understand the mystery of what goes on in God’s church.
We know we just feel a pervading spirit of love that reaches into the niches of all of us
And pulls us out into the open, free, alive and belonging.
We believe this spirit of love exists because God’s spirit lives within this church
This unity of people trying to be God’s good news.
We see this church as a circle of people
Holding hands and dancing
Supporting each other, accepting each other, loving each other.
Each person in this dancing circle
Is facing outwards, reaching into God’s world.
Listening for the crying, watching for the hurting,
Willing to offer a cup of water in his name.
Sometimes they need the water, sometimes I need the water.
Being part of the church means knowing that
The cup is always filled in his name.
(Ann Weems – Searching For Shalom)

This talks about the church as ‘Supporting each other, accepting each other, loving each other.

Discuss the following questions.
Is this how you feel, what does the church mean to you, how has it changed your life, how important is it to you?

SUPPORT – Grape vines will need to be trained to some sort of support to grow upward.

Similarly, we need support to grow.

Giving and receiving support is an essential part of life, an essential part of being a Christian. I can think of people who supported me and made a difference (give examples in your life)

I believe giving and receiving support is an essential part of life, of our Christian discipleship.

Discuss the following questions.
Is there someone who has given you support? Is there someone you feel you need support?

PRUNING – Vines need pruning.

Think of a vine and think about pruning. It may seem harsh to chop bits off, but what are the effects. It removes useless parts that may be needlessly sapping its energy. It frees up space to provide room for new growth. It allows light into parts that are being starved of light. If done correctly the vine is not damaged by pruning but made stronger.

Does the same apply to us, are there things we need to cut from our lives to free us to do something better?

Reading – Changes (in ‘reflections’ section of website)

Where is God’s spirit calling you?

Discuss the following questions.
What do you think about change, both in your life and in the church? Is it important, is it needed? Are there things we need to prune form our lives?  Can you think of examples where you made changes?

WATERING AND FEEDING – Vines need regularly watering and feeding.

Just as the plant needs watering and feeding, so we need refreshing with spiritual food.
Our lives can get so busy, we forget to find time to seek out spiritual food, to spend time with God.

I once saw a sign out side a church which said

‘Come ye apart and rest awhile, if don’t rest awhile you will come apart.’

Discuss the following questions.
What is your reaction to that statement? How often do you spend time with God? How can you make that time? Has spending time with God made a difference in your life?

HARVESTING

If you follow the right instructions for growing vines, then the vine should bear fruit,

Similarly, the scripture I read at the beginning says if we follow Jesus’ instructions, we will also bear fruit. We will share in a final reading about our fruit.

Reading        Fruit meditation

(Either use the fruit meditation in the book Multi-sensory Prayers or use the version in the readings section of this website).