Stay Connected to the Vine
Another year is here! I should be happy, but it sometimes feels like Jesus went away when I packed up the Nativity set. All the reminders of his birth are gone,
and now the day is dull and gray. I pray but feel nothing. Where is the Lord?
Do you ever feel like that?
It’s hard to imagine the disciples didn’t feel similarly when, in John’s Gospel, they sit with Jesus at the Last Supper and hear him explain how he was going where they cannot follow. He said, Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid (John 14:27). When they don’t understand, he takes them outside. They’re headed for Gethsemane—and Jesus knows what that means, even if they do not. He knows they’ll feel abandoned and be tempted to fall away. So he stops to point out a grapevine. I am the vine, you are the branches. Remain [stay] in me (see John 15:4–5). When Jesus first called them, his disciples stayed with him (see John 1:38–39). Now he’s calling them to something deeper: to remain in him.
“I am the vine, you are the branches,” Jesus says (John 15:5).
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