Sunday, May 7, 2017

4th Sunday of Easter: I AM – Vine

Sunday May 7, 2016   "I AM – Vine"
╬  “I am the true vine!” 
Jesus uses images of vines and vine dressing – resonant in the life of the people – to reveal powerful truths about life in God.  They speak to us, as well, about living faithfully today … trusting ourselves to the ministry of the Vine Dresser; abiding in the One who is at once the source and unity of all people and all creation. 

click here to listen to the late service 
click here to listen to the early service 

PRAYER OF THE DAY --------------------------------------

God of all creation, you send your Christ as the true vine that keeps us connected with you and one another.  Help us to find our strength, our sustenance and our calling in staying connected to the true vine.  Amen.

READINGS ------------------------------------------------

First Reading:   Hosea 14:4-7

4 I will heal their disloyalty; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them.  5 I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily, he shall strike root like the forests of Lebanon.   6 His shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive tree, and his fragrance like that of Lebanon.  7 They shall again live beneath my shadow, they shall flourish as a garden; they shall blossom like the vine, their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

Psalm 80:7-15

7 Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

8 You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches.
11 It sent out its branches to the sea, and its shoots to the River.
12 Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
13 The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it.
14 Turn again, O God of hosts; look down from heaven, and see.
15 Have regard for this vine, the stock that your right hand planted. 

Second Reading:  1 Corinthians 3:1-9

3 And so, brothers and sisters, I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but rather as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food. Even now you are still not ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For as long as there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not of the flesh, and behaving according to human inclinations? 4 For when one says, "I belong to Paul," and another, "I belong to Apollos," are you not merely human?  5 What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have a common purpose, and each will receive wages according to the labor of each. 9 For we are God's servants, working together; you are God's field, God's building.

Gospel:   John 15:1-9

15 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 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. 5 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. 6 Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.