Showing posts with label Making Connections Review Dec 15. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Making Connections Review Dec 15. Show all posts

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Making Connections Review Dec 15

December 15
(Third Sunday of Advent = Joy)
Isaiah 11:1-10, Jeremiah 23:1-6, John 15:1-8
 
Making Connections:
 
Whether you have a green thumb or a black thumb, we can all understand some of the basics of plant-growing: good soil, good roots, sunlight & water. Some kinds of plants & vines can grow from a clipping, but most branches must stay connected to the whole system to grow. Taken away, they wither & die.
 
Isaiah speaks of the Messiah as a branch shooting forth from the stump of Jesse, an image indicating that the Davidic line of kings has died out or been cut down. The Messiah will be new growth of a kingly line that otherwise was nothing but a stump. This Messiah branch will grow a kingdom with such peace that the lion & the lamb will lie down together and the child may play with the cobra. Jeremiah affirms this idea of a branch coming from David's line who will bring peace & govern Israel with righteousness.
 
The New Testament has many places where plant imagery illustrates spiritual truth, and in John 15, Jesus gives a great picture of what our relationship with God should be like. Jesus is the fulfillment of the branch, but here he calls Himself the vine and say that we are the branches. Like the branch of Isaiah & Jeremiah, the vine is fruitful & we are also to be fruitful as well. But the only way for us to grow & produce is to stay connected to Jesus. We must abide in the vine.
 
To abide is to live or make one's home. We must make our home with Jesus, the kingly branch from the line of David. If we do not abide in Him, we will not bear fruit, but will be cast off - not because of our lack of fruit, but because we did not abide. It is not our works that can bring us into the kingdom or send us out of it, but the abiding in Jesus. The fruitfulness is simply the result of staying connected to Him.
 
Whether you have a green or black thumb with actual plants, to keep yourself thriving you must know what it means to abide in Jesus.