The Branch In The Vine

Wednesday, February 20, 2008
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Matthew 7:3 – Why do you see the speck in your neighbour's eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? (NRSV)

I spend time untangling and pruning vines in the vineyard, lifting fallen branches and tying them onto the supporting wires. After days upon days of slowly pruning the last of the vines, I look at my work with satisfaction. At times, I have been brutal in pruning. They are up and cleaned and ready for the sun and the rain to begin to produce a harvest in them — and what a harvest it will be!

While untangling and pruning and lifting, I think of how God just might see me and what I do not see in myself. I look at today's Bible verse and begin to give some thought to the specks and the logs in our eyes and lives. Why do I see the speck in my neighbour's eye or life? Why even spend time looking? Why waste time in fault-finding?

It is enough that God sees us as we are. We are each an open book to Him. It is only by the awesome love of God that we begin to see each other in a new way. The specks and the logs are switched, and we find ourselves with the short end of the log.

Once planted in the correctional yard of God, we are given a new look at ourselves and our neighbours. Once we submit our sinful nature for pruning by the Word, we find ourselves in a constant state of having our spiritual natures shaped. The twisted and tangled branches of the old me are tenderly lifted and straightened for a growth and harvest in faith.

The heavenly Gardener is doing the necessary crafting, cutting, and shaping, because it is best for us and best for the treasure house of God. Truth, sometimes painful about ourselves, is found in many ways as we hear and read God's Word. Grace abounds, and we are guided in the ways of God. Thanks be to God!

We do well to say, "Yes!" to Jesus with undivided loyalty. His mercy is great, and in His love, we find love supernatural and otherwise impossible. The Lord is asking for our love, and in turn He will show love and peace beyond human understanding.

Prayer: God of grace! We come to be untangled and cleansed. Help us to respond to Your touch in Spirit and truth, so that You will re-make us and make us worthy through Christ our Saviour. Amen.

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Kirsti Sipila <>
Brantford, Ontario, Canada

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