March 14, 2009

Transformation-planting a Garden

John 15:1-11

“No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.”
John 15:4


In our Scripture reading today, God is a gardener who wants to produce choice crops. God begins by digging the soil and planting the seed.

It can be painful when God turns over the soil of our lives. But he does it for our own good. The hard ground must be prepared to receive seed and let it grow.

As the seed begins to sprout, it must be watered. The water of God’s Spirit must pour over our lives. Each of us has to ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

As the blossom begins to emerge, it must receive nourishing sunshine. We have to continually place our lives under the sustaining light of God’s Word.

Then pruning takes place, as God works in our lives to trim out unproductive branches and insure a maximum harvest.

Finally the fruit matures, and the harvest approaches. People are blessed by the fruit we produce when we are active in a church and in the world around us, sharing with others the blessings God has given us.

You see, transformation is a process. It takes the right conditions for seeds to sprout and grow. And pruning is painful as the dead limbs of our lives are cut away. But God is involved in the whole process.

As we allow God to cultivate our lives, the final harvest will be astonishing.

Divine Gardener, plant us in your vineyard. We know that as we remain in the vine of Christ, our prayers are answered, our joy is full, and our fruit is plentiful. Amen.

About the author — Dean Deppe

Dean Deppe has been a pastor in inner-city, suburban, and rural ­churches. Currently he teaches New Testament theology at Calvin Theological Seminary. His courses include one on the parables of Jesus. He and his wife have four grown children.

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