Grace and peace! One of the experiences I enjoy from time to time is visiting one of the numerous vineyards that are nested in the rolling hills of NOVA. I enjoy looking over the lush green grapevines and reflecting on the process of making wine, which parabolizes the process of our growth into Christian maturity.
First, the vineyard owner finds land. The land is then cleared of rocks, trees, and other obstructions so that the soil can be prepared to welcome the planting of grapevines. Then comes the cultivation process, which enables the tender vines to grow and bear fruit.
This process requires patience, including the pruning of the grapevines so that they can bear more fruit. Once harvested, the grapes must be crushed and go through the process of fermentation before a celebratory glass of wine can finally be poured out and enjoyed by the vineyard owner who reflects back on the process it took to create that glass of wine.
Our Lord Jesus Christ said, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful".
How does our Holy Father providentially use the everyday and extraordinary circumstances in our lives (like "sheltering in place" during pandemics) to prune our lives?
This Sunday, we'll ZOOM in for a visit with our heavenly Vinedresser to reflect on how the process of being pruned equips us for abundant Christian living in the midst of life's most difficult circumstances! Come ready to worship, taste, and see that the Lord is working all things together for our good so that we can bear fruit for His Kingdom.
Your servant in Christ,
The Rev. Dean F. Schultz - Christ The Redeemer Church in Springfield, VA