A vineyard is a beautiful place. Straight, immaculate rows of long slender vines, covered in green leaves, yielding bunches of luscious grapes, which not only become food to eat but also yield many varieties of wine. Little wonder that the Niagara region has become a bustling tourist area.
A vineyard is also an amazing example of interdependence and interconnection. Berries attached by little tiny stems to longer stems to form clusters, and the clusters clinging to canes and cordons which attach to trunks that send their roots deep into the ground. Every part connected to another, all parts intertwined with each other.
It’s this elaborate web of interconnection, and interdependence, that allows water and nutrients to flow to the grapes. And if one piece is cut off–if a connection somewhere in this intricate, intertwined web is broken—those Chardonnays and Gewurtztraminers and Muques will soon wither and die. The life of this vineyard depends on the parts staying connected.
Jesus could have lived in Vineland, because he knew a lot about vineyards. He talked about vines and branches, pruning and fruit. He called himself “the vine,” and said that his followers are “the branches” (John 15). He stressed the important of “abiding,” or “remaining,” in him, in order to bear fruit.
In our worship service on Sunday, September 13, we will reflect on the lessons for living as Jesus’s people in this world that Jesus drew from the vineyard.