Friday, 4 May 2018

Sunday Service Marsden Road Uniting Church 29 April 2018


Because I was working in another area of the church I was unable to attend the service at Marsden Road UC, so I read a number of reflective pieces from different sources.

One was written by Fr. Michael Whelan who shared his thoughts on John 15:1-8.

Jesus the True Vine

15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes[a] to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed[b] by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become[c] my disciples.

Michael spoke of this being a story of love. I have never seen that as its primary message but if you are like me look again.


We are told how a God in his love has done such good things in us and for us. God is reaching out to love us and to create people who are part of the True Vine and who will bear fruit as a result of that.

Our new life will be a sign of that fruit to come and as new beings we will show God’s love to the world.

Imagine what a difference it would make to our behaviour if we kept at the front of our mind that the Everlasting God seeks to love us with unending love.

The passage says that those that don't bear fruit will wither and die. I have always seen that as a punishment. But what would happen to our physical bodies if we ceased to take in nourishment? Cut off the source of life and death is the natural consequence.

And why would we do that when our Creator is reaching out with a free invitation to abundant life? Jesus said “I am the vine.” But there were many other “I am” statements. The Word is our all. Grasp the invitation to be loved and given new life.


“Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in Love

in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings,

How you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know,

what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in Love, stay in Love, and it will decide everything.”


(“The Treasure of our Heart”, Pedro Arrupe SJ (d 1991).

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