April 24, 2018
Rev. Sarah TevisTownes
Guest Pastor (Sermon Sunday): Ryan Roberts
Bible Study Session # 15:
This week’s Gospel reading is John 15.1–8. While Jesus is sitting at his Last Supper with his disciples, after having washed their feet and while offering the many admonitions, pleadings, and comforts of this last time together, he paints this image of the vine and the branches. One of the great I AM statements in John, this periscope helps his disciples (those at the table and us reading from the page) to grasp the ineffable nature of who Christ is and how we are in relationship with him and our neighbor.
Some questions to ponder: What do you know about growing grapes and how to get abundant fruit? How do you feel when Jesus talks about cutting and burning branches? What kind of fruit have you seen coming into the world through you? Through COGS? What kinds of strength can we draw from our vine, and in what ways is that metaphor less than helpful?
Bible Study Scripture
John 15: 1-8
New Revised Standard Version
15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 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.