Reflecting on John 15: 1-8
It’s May. It took forever to get here, but the springtime feast of the senses is finally, gloriously underway. The fragrance of the luscious apple blossoms makes a non-stop bike ride to the park impossible. What sort of robot could catch a whiff of their perfume and not stop to take in that heavenly scent?
The branches are already heavy with blossoms. Soon, apples will begin to grow at the center of the flowers, and the buds will fall to the ground, turning the grass and gutters into a stunning sea of pink and white. After the fruit is picked in the fall, the trees will appear naked as winter approaches. But that, like death itself, is an illusion. In fact, the buds for next year’s fruit will already be in place.
There’s something sad about seeing a flowering branch that has become separated from the rest of the tree. Within days, without the nurture of the vine, it grows brown and old, good for nothing but the fire.
Jesus used this familiar image when, on the night before he died, he gathered his loved ones together and begged them to remain in him. He knew he was going to the Father, and he knew that they could still be nurtured and sustained by him by living in him. Only by separating themselves from intimacy with him would they grow bitter and old.
Resurrection, like a bud on a tree, is hiding in plain sight. When we remember him, and dwell in him, there he is in our midst. For he is the Vine who lives forever, and we who stay connected to him will bear great fruit.
What is your favorite Easter season flower?