April 12, 2014

Remaining in Christ

John 15:1-9

“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


I’ve attended many weddings recently. One point emphasized in nearly every wedding “message” I heard was the work involved in being married. Staying connected to one another in a mutual relationship of love and fidelity does not happen automatically. It takes effort. It takes commitment. It takes intentionality to remain together until death does its work of separation. Simply put, it takes work!

Jesus says something similar to his disciples. He indicates that he and his followers are already connected, united, bonded together: “I am the vine, you are the branches.” And Jesus is the source for all that is needed. As branches attached to the vine, which is Jesus, we are completely dependent on him for life, nourishment, and fruitbearing. It is a tremendous blessing that our lives will flourish because we are connected to Jesus.

This great truth is something to celebrate, but it also makes us responsible. Jesus calls us to stay connected. We are given responsibility in our relationship with Jesus. We are called to remain in him. We do that by being steeped in God’s Word and by participating in a community of believers who feast together at the Lord’s table. We remain in Christ through prayer and through loving others as Christ commanded. And the fruit we bear by his power will last forever.

God, you are the giver and sustainer of all life. Help us to remain in Christ Jesus and to bear fruit for your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Ruth Boven

Ruth Boven serves as minister of congregational life at LaGrave Ave. CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Greg, have two adult children. They find rich purpose in urban ministry and delight in enjoying the wonders of God's good creation.

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