““I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
John 15:1-5 NASB
Long ago, on a Thursday night, Jesus met with His disciples. It was to be His last supper with them on this side of the cross. I am sure that these eleven men and one betrayer felt the profundity of the moment. For most, there was certain finality in all the things that their teacher was sharing with them. Their hearts were most assuredly full of uncertainty.
I am understanding that on this Maundy Thursday as I endure yet another day of quarantine. Unlike my spiritual brothers from long ago, I know of the finished work of the cross. In what was uncertain for them, I have the certainty of eternity in Heaven.
Life has brought the passage above to my mind more and more, as I have been placed in situations where I had not control, but needed to abide. I have known powerlessness, in my many illnesses, known lowness in my sin, and needed light in situations when the darkness is so dense that my next step felt like it would take me into the abyss.
In my abiding, I find strength and bear fruit.
The trials I have faced have been for my good, as the Lord has used them to prune away the deadness, that the branches that are fruitful, bear more fruit. I have seen much gain, in the face of loss as, what was taken away, caused me to grow more abundantly.
The church of a Jesus Christ is in a period of abiding and pruning. We are without our fellowship, but not without Jesus. We have His word to daily remind us. The disciples were about to lose the physical presence of their teacher, leader and friend. We have, as they did later, the presence of His Holy Spirit to provide assurance.
Today is a day to abide. This will be an Easter like no other. Believers around the world will meet online, in cars parked in church parking lots, and on Zoom meetings. Even though separated by space, we will be united by our living Lord and Savior. Through this tumult and uncertainty, we will abide. We will be fruitful.
Believers, I urge you to abide in the certainty of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. Fill the day with the word of God, with prayer, with worship. Make this day a celebration.
Remember this, SUNDAY IS COMING! The resurrection could not be cancelled, salvation is not postponed, His grace defies quarantine. WE HAVE A HOPE!
My prayers go out to Nate and the Bradford family at the homegoing of Holly. May the Lord comfort you.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NASB
THE PRAYER CHAIR IS OPEN! Send me your requests!