Friday, September 02, 2011

Being Pruned

I heard the verse about pruning from John's Gospel on the radio the other day and it got me thinking.  In it, Jesus says,
I am the true vine and my Father is the vine dresser.  Every branch that bears no fruit in it, He cuts away.  Every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it bear even more.  
~John 15:1-2
It occurred to me that whether we bear fruit or not, God cuts out what is useless in us.  This involves (painful) cutting and sometimes we may not be aware of why we are being cut at the time.  We need to trust that God knows, though.

We can't second guess God's intentions, but, rest assured, He is pruning us and preparing us to learn to love as He loves.

This is also a beautiful illustration of the purpose of pain in our lives.  There are those who think that Christians, or religious people shouldn't have pain and that if you do, you are not doing something right.  This verse shows that even when we are bearing fruit , God allows painful things to happen to us for our growth.

There are also those who question the existence of God based on life's pain.  Pain occurs for a reason.  Jesus acknowledged when he spoke of the man born blind, that often it is undeserved.  In this parable, though, He says that His Father does painful pruning in those bearing fruit so that more fruit can be grown for the Kingdom.

God's Kingdom is all around us.  If we are not part of its growth, others will not be shown His love through us.

Like children who do not understand parental restrictions, we question pain, but God is pruning us to show His love to the world.

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Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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