Our Gospel this morning invites us into the mystery of what it means to “abide” in Christ. At our first Parish Council meeting this year, we spent time reflecting on this metaphor of Christ being the vine and us being the branches. We explored the ways in which God seeks to prune us, individually and collectively, so that we may bear more fruit. We offered thoughts on what it might mean to be fruitful in our leadership of Christ’s body in this place. And we prayed for the grace to “abide” in Christ as we seek to follow Him into the future He has in store for us. What resonated strongly for each of us, was the truth that Jesus shares today “without me you can do nothing”. This is a call to prioritise our relationship with God, seeking to discern the ways that Jesus leads us, asking for the strength and perseverance to follow. And it is a call that is made on each believer today.

In what ways can each of us become more diligent and faithful in our following? How may we need to be pruned so that our lives become more reflective of the Resurrection power at work in each of us?

Last week, Revd. Nigel preached a powerful sermon on how the love of God comes alive in our relationships with one another, particularly as a community of believers. He challenged us that the quality of love we have for our brothers and sisters who we can see, has a direct relationship to our loving God who we cannot see. Perhaps this is the key to “abiding” in Christ? To really pay attention to our relationships with one another. Seeking to love one another, in ways that allow for God’s great love to be revealed so that we may bring healing and wholeness, hope and a future. Remaining humbly aware of the depth of our need for Christ, convinced that without Him we can do nothing. It is my prayer that each of us spend time this week in reflection and prayer, asking Christ to use us powerfully in THIS community of faith, so that His love may be revealed.

Pray for me, I am praying for you.

Reverend Anastasia Huntley

02 May 2021