My husband grows Scuppernongs, a bronze or light-coloured grape, first discovered growing on the coast of Georgia and South Carolina by the early American colonists. He uses an arbour, which differs somewhat from the traditional methods used by grape growers, who prefer straight rows. Forming a square with strong posts, he covers the top with strong mesh wire, constructing an arbour. Vines are planted on two sides of the square and trained to grow across the wire.
Each year the vines are fertilized, sprayed, and pruned back severely. During dry seasons, they are watered enough to produce grapes. He is a true husbandman to the little vineyard. Most years, his efforts are rewarded with large, juicy fruit.
As I watch his labours, I'm reminded of Jesus' many references to the vineyard and to the care of the vine.
John 15:1 – I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. (NIV)
John 15:5 – I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in Him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (NIV)
As the vines green up each year from the strong roots that have been dormant all winter, I'm reminded of the Christ in us. He is the vine; we are the branches. In order to produce, each branch must stay attached to its main source.
Like the vine, we must be fed and watered with spiritual nourishment, protected from enemies that would destroy us, and pruned back to produce a stronger growth. As Christians we are to produce fruit for the Kingdom. As branches from the vine, we must be connected to our main source, Jesus Christ. If we remain connected, we will produce a bountiful harvest.
Prayer: Lord, make us fruitful branches, producing a good harvest for Your kingdom. Amen.