Friday Followings: I Am the Vine; You are the Branches

Hello Gloria Dei,
 
The apostle Paul says that because of Christ, you and I are “New Creations.” Martin Luther used to love to say that because of Christ, you and I have become “Good Trees”. No longer are we defined by our sin and brokenness. Rather, we are forgiven by the work of Jesus on the cross. We are now free from sin and death – we have now been declared righteous in the eyes of God. Therefore, we are now “Good Trees”. And being good trees, we quite naturally produce “Good Fruit.” Just as a healthy apple tree produces healthy apples, so you and I, as good trees, produce good fruit for the Kingdom of God.
 
In this weekend’s gospel reading in the book of John, the focus is on vineyards, vines, branches, and fruit. Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Apart from me you can do nothing. Yet, abiding in me, you produce good fruit.” During this season of Lent, and in preparation for worship, read John 15:1-17. Ask yourself these questions: “How am I connected to Jesus, the vine? What has Christ done for me to assure me that I am a good vine?” “How am I growing in Christ, and what will God need to prune in my life to allow for maximum growth?” “Where and how is the fruit of my life being played out in love of God and of neighbor?”
 
I look forward to seeing you in worship.
 
A few reminders:  Gloria Dei is serving at St. Francis House on Tuesday, March 13 and at The Banquet on Thursday, March 15. Please consider these opportunities to serve and sign up online at or at church this weekend.
 
We are also now receiving sign-ups for the Easter Prayer Vigil which runs all night leading up to Easter morning. Sign up on the website or at church. This is a meaningful and important discipline as we prepare for the Easter celebration.
 
And don’t forget to move your clocks forward this Saturday night, as Daylight Savings time begins this weekend.
 
Pastor Tim