Daily Worship

My Father the Gardener

Jo Black June 17, 2024 3 5
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John 15: 1-4 (NIVUK)

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

You may have heard, or even have been, a child boasting about their dad – about what car they drive, or how fast they run, or how strong they are. Yet what establishes a relationship between parent and child is rarely these ‘Top Trumps’ attributes. It’s day to day nurture of progress and growth through provision of nourishment and teaching of skills. It’s the discipline that promotes fresh potential – ‘keep going, you can do it’ – as well as curbing bad habits – ‘you can do better than that’. It’s connection of family and friendship, sharing all that is needed.

Jesus talks here about his Father as a great gardener – promoting fruitfulness, cutting off that which fails to flourish or needs to further its potential and encouraging enduring connection with ‘the vine’.

This is skilled work — pruning is no hack job! While it looks initially brutal, it is done with full knowledge of where the best growth will come from and done with the intention that it will support the integrity of the whole.

Not all fathers are ones to boast of. But Jesus offers connection with His Father, whose hands seek the growth of all those choose connection with Him.

 

Prayer:

 

I want to be fruitful for you Father.

A prize-winning harvest.

A florist’s delight.

 

But praying for your pruning…

Does not come easily.

 

So let me grow up the trellis of your Word,

Let my roots seek the depths of your love.

Graft me into relationship with your Son

So that my Spirit seeks your fruit-promoting shears

And delights in even the potential of a bounty

That speaks of your grace.

 

Amen