The Daily Office | March 27, 2018
Psalms 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125
Psalms 126, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131
Wisdom 2:1, 2:12-end
Collect: Ash Wednesday
Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made, and you forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Collect: Tuesday of Holy Week
O Lord our God, whose blessed Son gave his back to be whipped and did not hide his face from shame and spitting: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
One of my favorite plants to care for is called Pothos. It is a type of vine that almost every plant lover has because it is impossible to kill (you have to put in effort). Besides being easy to care for, another reason I love it is that it is easy to propagate. You can grow your plant collection overtime starting with one pothos plant.
In our John 15 passage, Christ uses an analogy that we can easily follow: Christ is the true vine and his Father is the vinedresser. He prunes the branches that bear fruit and takes away the branches that do not bear fruit. Like the pothos, there must be a true vine in order to grow branches that will then produce. The branch cannot bear fruit on its own. It must be a part of the vine.
John 15 assures us that we have been chosen to be fruit bearers, and we must abide in Christ, the true vine so that we can be fruitful. This is easier said than done. We often try to do things on our own, making Christ a second option or the last resort. How do we abide in him when we feel like we know best? We have to trust in his promises, that when we ask for anything in his name, it will be given to us (knowing that this means what is meant for us). We must remind ourselves of passages like Psalm 121, that our help comes from the Lord. Through him, we can go out into the world as bearers of fruit from the good vine.
During this Holy Week, as Christ makes his way to Gethsemane to prepare to be handed over to die for our sins, let us remember Christ as the true vine, and abide in him and his love.