Thursday, May 07, 2009

Fruit of the vine

Readings for today, Easter 5, May 10th 2009 , can be taken from Acts 8:26-40, Psalm 22: 26-32, 
South Australians in particular appreciate this image of the vine that Jesus uses in John 15
It is a sumptuous and engaging image
and bears much thinking about, with reflection and prayer.
God wants us to be fruitful
he wants us not to have meagre lives
but abundant lives.
Some times we need to understand that fruitfulness comes about by a process of pruning
that is by cutting back
by curtailing ourselves
This process is for long-term fruitfulness
even though in the short term 
it may limit or even seem like it hurts
The passage from 1John reminds us that God’s sole motivation is  love for us
We are not the puppets of a dictator
we are the lovers of a God
who wants only our welfare.

All this prompts us to think that what is being suggested here
is deeper rather than shallower.
It is long-term transformation
rather than short- term titillation.

So when we read (as we do twice in this chapter) 
“ask what ever you wish and it will be done for you” 
we should realise that this is more than just wish-fulfillment.
God is seeking to respond to our deepest need.
I suspect that our deepest need is not to have more stuff or money
It is about attending to our need to be loved
and to love
In the end ...this will always be what we want.

However we name it, even if we have to begin with 
               “But I really want a new car!”
God is offering more than just to be Fr Christmas.
We know this because of John’s assertion over and over again
               God loves me! God loves you! God loves us!
So much so that he is prepared to confront death for us.
There is more being offered here than a new bike, a big house or a pile of cash.

Can you sit with the question...what do I really want?
Can we wrestle about that with God? (Why do I want more? Why do I need trouble to disappear)
What, God, are you offering?
Probably much more than we think!

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