Thursday, April 25, 2013

V is Vine

   In 2004 we built an addition onto our house where our deck once stood and wanting to have shade in the hot, Tennessee August sun my husband built an arbor and a patio off our back step.  I planted a Carolina Jasmine, a beautiful deciduous vine that blooms very fragrant yellow flowers in February and March.  We've had a cold spring and this years flowers weren't nearly as plentiful nor were they as fragrant as years past.  But, my vine, which once just was climbing up the West side of the arbor has now reached all the way across the top of structure, forming a beautiful natural ceiling that keeps our back patio cool.

     Jesus called Himself the true vine.  Most likely he was looking at a grape vineyard when He called Himself the true vine.  No matter what kind of vine he was personifying, the vine plant is one whose stem requires support and which climbs by tendrils or twining or creeps along the ground.  My Carolina Jasmine, once it became established and trained to climb the lattice my husband built for it, went crazy with growth.  We have had to give it a "haircut" several times because it likes to grow back on itself towards the sun.

   It is easy to take care of and only requires some pruning in the spring.  I wish I could bottle the fragrance of its flowers.  It truly takes my breath away.

   I'm a branch on the Jesus vine.  I've been pruned, right down to the quick a few times, had a bad haircut or two also (wink, wink) but being part of the vine is part of something special and beautiful.  If you belong to Christ you too are a branch on the Jesus vine.  Sometimes the gardener has to trim some wild branches to hold them back, sometimes the gardener has to redirect a branch to climb up, not down.  
   Taking care of my Carolina Jasmine is a work in progress.  Some years the beauty and fragrance are breathtaking, and some years its branches struggle to bear flowers after a cold winter.  But the Vine remains.  

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

"I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."  John 15:1-5.

V is for Vine.


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