Today we repeat yesterday’s Gospel reading from the Lent Study for this week and take a closer look at it. So if you don’t remember it or missed it go read or watch it here.
This is a well-loved passage which contains many beautiful words of intimate friendship that are offered by Jesus. There is a simple invitation to take on the identity of being Jesus’ friend - and the kind of friendship that always wills the good of the other - which was amazing news for someone like me, who wrestled with where and to whom I belonged, for so many years. Jesus became my best friend - before God took on and filled that role of being my father.
Jesus used parables, relatively simple and engaging stories that actually taught a form of critical thinking. Today’s gospel reading was a step above that - as he makes one of the great “I am” statements. What stands out to me, is that the vine here is the equivalent for us of a family tree. God is the gardener - He creates life and watches over it, down through the centuries - Jesus taught that those of us who through Him, become Children of God, are grafted into God’s family tree. I am putting at Sext a video about grafting, while a well-known subject to his original listeners, some of us may know nothing about how it works. The rest of this I am leaving to a greater expert than me. The amazing Rev Billie Rowe who explains the passage far better than I could - I have cut this clip to 30 mins - it starts at 57:12. I highly recommend taking the time at some point today, to watch this it will both challenge and bless you!