Got home last week to tend my garden. Pepper plant was droopy. Leaves and pepper had fallen off. Pepper died. Other plants are okay.
Fruit doesn't fair well when it gets disconnected from the plant. Neither do we. We were made for connection, with God and each other. We tend to forget that staying connected to our life source, Jesus, does not happen automatically. It is a choice on our part. Hear this from Sunday's lesson.
Jesus said, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just 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. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples." John 15:1-8
God wants to tend us – always. Jesus cast his vote, he will never leave. That just leaves you and me. Will we abide? Will we stay connected? How do we know we are connected? If life springs up around us even when circumstances would dictate otherwise. If we wilt and burn up in the face of life's inevitable challenges, we know that we stopped abiding.
Abide, dwell, tarry with Jesus today. That means to give up the lead and follow.