There is always a danger when we read metaphorical passages like this
one. Sometimes we take Jesus’ parables too literally, and then we find
ourselves using them to judge others, trying to decide who needs to be
“pruned” and who needs to be “cut off and thrown in the fire”. That’s
why we need to remember that Jesus was simply using the image to
teach us an important lesson about life in God’s Kingdom.
Although we can think about the different branches as different kinds of
people, it is equally true that we all have these different branches within
us. We all have branches that have grown dead and need to be cut off
and thrown away. These are the habits and attitudes that keep us from
being true lovers of God and of others. We all have parts of ourselves
that need to be “pruned”. These are the capacities for love that need to
be disciplined and “shaped” in order for us to become more effective
lovers. And we all have parts of us that bear good fruit. These are the
places where we have already grown like Christ in some way and
where we are already revealing God’s love through our lives. As we
seek to “remain in” Jesus, we become like Jesus and our capacity for
bearing the fruit of love grows.
The worship practice of “invocation” which opens our awareness to
God’s presence is an important tool for “remaining in” Jesus, for staying
intimately connected to God. Today, use this practice to keep drawing your awareness back to God and to deepen your connection with God.
I choose to remain in you, Jesus, so that you and your love may remain