Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
“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.

                  —John 15.1-2

Even the greatest tree
under which we found shelter
can fail us. They do not live forever.

In times of death, loss or betrayal,
times when what was fruitful is barren,
when what was strong has withered,
when what once blossomed is hard and dry,
when what was generous and nourishing
is thorny and hurtful,
the vinegrower, lover of life and joy,
tender of kindness and blessing,
He does not punish, but gently tends.
Even if most of the tree is dead,
it is pruned to save what is living,
what is kind and hopeful and giving.
But how can he not weep, as he cuts off
limbs of his own flesh?

You will imagine those whom you hope
God is cutting off at this very moment,
but I don’t mean others.
I mean in you, the part in each of us
that is unloving, ungiving,
whatever is attached to what is dead.
The death of what is unkind in us
is the pruning by which
the resurrection of love
may come forth, small and green.

In a dying vine
even the smallest tender shoot
is the deepest hope of the vinegrower.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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