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Daily Devotional for January 5


January 5                                                          John 15:1-16

In this passage, you tell us that you are a vine, Jesus, and we
are branches which will bear fruit as long as we remain in you.
Your loving Father-and-Mother singles out those branches that
will produce good fruit and gently prunes them. In addition
to the planting, watering, and weeding needed in the cultiva-
tion of crops, a good gardener will also prune the stock to
produce a heartier plant that will bear more and better fruit.

I believe that I am a worthwhile branch of our Creator's vine.
Now, I don't mean to complain, Jesus, but don't you think
our God is pruning me just a little too much? When I become
disheartened and discouraged by the values and choices of our
country and our church, is our God pruning me of my adamant
conviction that I know what is best for everyone? When I feel
searing disruptions and conflicts with my most intimate friends
and loved ones, is our God pruning me of my dependence on
human relationships? When I want so much to pray and to
be connected to the holy but seem unable to find you because
of the empty tomb within me, is our God pruning me of my
longing for spiritual satisfaction? When I feel frustrated because
so many of the ambitious tasks I have set for myself remain
undone, is our God pruning me of my self-reliance and
reminding me that I am powerless without you, Jesus?

Yes, I am being pruned, reduced, cut down, diminished, so
that my vital union with you, Jesus, will yield an even greater
harvest. I believe that you chose this branch to help make this
world a better place and to lead others to the eternal joy of
the next. Today, please keep this branch close to you, Jesus,
our life-giving vine. Amen.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.

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