Wednesday: May 13, 2020
Reference: John 15:1-8
John 15:2 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.
I came across two new words as I read about today’s text ‘viticulture’ and ‘silvology’. The first is the science and study of grapes and the latter, the study of forests and wood. They came into the frame while I was looking at two words related to today’s text: ‘pruning and vineyard’. I also chanced upon a description on the homepage of a gardening company that caught my attention.
In highlighting the importance of pruning, regarding silvology they wrote: ‘in the forest, trees are free to play by their own rules. They can spread their limbs out, stretch their branches up as high as they’ll grow, and send old, weak limbs down to the forest floor in a free fall’. Therefore, while there is no obvious system for managing forest canopies, it cannot be so in a vineyard for the same luxuries cannot be afforded. In viticulture, even the most minimal of neglects could have a significant impact on an entire harvest.
We are not forests because we find ourselves in the vineyard of the Lord and in there, rules apply. There are specific criteria to be satisfied: size requirements, aeration, reach of branches etc. To attain this, the vine dresser, God, prunes His vines. For the sake of the whole vineyard, He is however willing and able to break off, cut off and detach those branches that need not be in place. Consequently, some dead, unwanted or unsightly parts are removed.
Those branches that end up dead, deformed or unsightly are those not firmly attached to the vine or by virtue of some hindrances, do not receive adequate nutrition from the central vine. Christ is our vine, but how firmly then are we attached to this vine?