lørdag 22. oktober 2016

It is about the gardener

When Jesus uses pictures from the agrarian culture of his time, I feel that I am on foreign soil. My fingers can be “multicoloured”, but the closest I come to have “green fingers” is when I on the rare occasions have to mow the grass. All the rest I leave to the specialist to whom I am happily married. I have no problem in understanding the picture, but I am glad that I do not have to prune a tree:
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.
John 15:2
Of course, I am able to see when a branch is completely withered and dead, but with regard to the pruning of a fresh branch so that it bears more fruit, I have nothing to contribute. Maybe that is the whole point?

In this picture I am the branch. The specialist is the gardener, and Jesus has already presented him as ‘my Father, the gardener’. A branch is not able to prune itself. It is the task of the specialist. My contribution to the process is to give him access. 

It is possible that I stretch the image a bit if I say that a branch can hide and try to make itself invisible to the gardener, but with a little imagination, I move to another 'vineyard'. I travel back to the Garden of Eden:

The two who were in the garden had no good fruits to show for when gardener came for an inspection: "… they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden." (1). The ‘branches’ that were supposed to carry good fruit had to hide among the trees because they had nothing to display, and God called out:

"Where are you?"
I think availability for God is a precondition for increasing the fertility in relation to the mission he has entrusted to the believers: Leading his lost children back to him through the production of fruit of the Spirit. Holiness is about being available for the gardener. Therefore, the 'manna' for today must be:
Here I am!
(1) Gen 3:8b

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