The Life Cycle Of A Grape on God's Vine

In preparation for this Sunday's Gospel a few more thoughts ..

See also previous post here on Aesop's Fable Of the Grapes and The Fox

The life cycle of a grape in Sonoma (somewhere in California)
for those like me who may not know.. 

From it's winter dormancy until it's fall harvest, the winegrape has a colourful life full of activity. Here is a short video capsule of the cycle.

It got me reflecting on which part of the cycle I am in spiritually.
Collectively as a church/ world where are we in the cycle these days ? 

Do I trust God the vinedresser to look after me/us/our world including accepting necessary pruning or even being thrown away if I am a dead branch ....Scary stuff that last one. 

Is this song by the prophet Isaiah for his beloved God the way it is these days ?

My well-beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hill.
He dug it all around, removed its stones,
And planted it with the choicest vine.
And He built a tower in the middle of it
And also hewed out a wine vat in it;
Then He expected it to produce good grapes,
But it produced only worthless ones (Isa. 5:1b-2).

Nice reflection on this song of the vineyard from here 

Do I trust the church to prune me ?

Who gets to do the pruning ? 

Who should get a say in who wields the pruning shears ?

Which part of me /us is a dead branch ?

Am I / are we in a progressive linear phase on the way to fullness of life?

If so where is the fruit ?

                                                                        Image source

Where is the new wine going to come from?
Where will the new wineskins to contain it come from ?
What sort of wine will make up the vintage crops for the 21st century?

Is my life on the vine recycling round the seasons?

Am I /are we stuck out on a limb ? What stops me/us growing ? 
Am I/are we diseased ? Where are the pests ? 
Am I withering on the vine ?

This is a great video from Parker Palmer. He considers where we as Christians are.  He likens us standing in a space he calls the tragic gap, and explains what it means to hold onto creative tension and the reality that we often are going to get broken. 

He refers to individuals here but I think there is a lot that may well apply to the church too.


But it is not only us that have to hold on to the creative tension in ourselves and the world.
  When Christ says I am the True Vine and we are the branches it tells me that always in the evolution of our human story we are part of a totality greater than ourselves. 

Ultimately we are not self-made vines though we often like to claim that honour.

For the incarnate God is holding onto us in all this tension too, living and breathing in us, nurturing us in an intimate way, physically,emotionally and spiritually, pouring out grace and unconditional love and let me never forget there is the action of the Holy Spirit.

( I'm in optimistic mood today - whenever I think of the Holy Spirit I get a surge of optimism.)

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, 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, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."


To everything turn turn turn................  

No comments: