Letter to the Parish - Friday 30 April 2021

First published on: 5th May 2021

Dear all,

What a mixture of weather we have been having, one minute sunny the next minute hailing. One thing is for certain over the last couple of weeks. It is noticeable how things have been growing. The grass has shot up, the trees are green with leaves and the blossom is on the fruit trees. We love blossom in our house. Not only is it beautiful, but it is an indicator that the fruit will be coming soon.

This week’s reading from the Gospel of John is one of the famous “I AM” statements that Jesus makes. 

I am the vine; you are the branches.

If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. John 15:5

Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches and there is an expectation that we will bear fruit. What is this fruit, how do we produce it and for what purpose?

The fruit Jesus is talking about in this passage is love, that we should love one another. It is an easy statement to say but sometimes more difficult to implement. We are to love all people no matter how irritating, unkind or different they may be. 

However, this is not something that is driven by our own works but rather in the strength of the relationship with Jesus. If we are to bear fruit we need to be connected to the vine. This passage tells us that if we remain in Jesus and He in us we will bear fruit. This offers us real encouragement that it is that connection that makes us bear fruit. This means that we need to make sure that we are connected and growing that connection stronger. 

This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:8

We do this for the Glory of God, and it shows that we are His followers. As I have been thinking about this over the last couple of days, I have been imagining what our church, community, country and world would look like if all people were bearing this fruit and that we loved one another like Christ loved us. Later in the chapter Jesus says that there is no greater love that a friend laying down their life for another and that is precisely what Jesus did for us.

Let our lives and church and community be filled with fruit, the fruit of love.

God Bless,

Gareth.


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