The Connection

by Fran Caffey Sandin

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15: 5 ESV

A warm summer breeze off Michigan’s Lake Superior greeted us as we gazed upward to a huge grey rock formation resembling a battleship heading out to sea. Enjoying a sightseeing cruise around beautiful Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, my husband and I were enthralled by the red 180 foot Indian Head rock and a 70 foot waterfall.

Vibrant colors of orange, gold, and green decorated numerous coves. The cruise moderator explained they were formed from a combination of limestone and the seepage of minerals such as copper, manganese, and tannic acid. The breathtaking scenes were a photographer’s dream.

However, the scene that most captured my attention most was a lone pine tree atop Pulpit Rock, a giant stone resembling a church pulpit, located several feet from the mainland. The interesting feature was its tree roots resembling large ropes that draped across the gap to the mainland. The green tree appeared well-nourished and healthy but if those roots ever got disconnected, the tree would surely die.

Immediately my thoughts turned to the description of Jesus as the true vine when He said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for without Me, you can do nothing” (John 15: 5 NASB 1995).

To abide means to dwell, stay, and remain—so if we want to have a vibrant and fruitful life, we must be connected to Jesus Himself. He is the source of life and truth as opposed to a counterfeit, and He is the vine from which the branches receive nourishment. Just as the root provides support and nutrients, so the branch can flourish, Jesus does the same for us when we are at home with him. Although diverse in opinion or dispersed in location, all true Christians centered “in Christ” have a unity of purpose, and that is to glorify Him.

What if the branches do not produce any fruit? On my Grandpa’s farm some limbs on the fruit trees appeared like others, but buds and fruit never appeared. Likewise, people who profess to be Christians but do not exhibit the fruit of the spirit of God in their conversation and lifestyle are like the fruitless branch. The unproductive branch is useless to the farmer. Likewise, the person who disregards Jesus and his Word cannot be fruitful in the family of God. Being attached to the root of our faith is vital to an abundant daily life. We need Him.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you that when we choose the salvation you have provided through Christ, we can receive spiritual nourishment through studying your Word, through prayer and obedience, and fellowship with other believers. May we share the good news with others and through your grace produce the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that only you can provide. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Fran Sandin is a retired nurse, organist, mother, and grandmother living in Greenville, Texas. She and her husband, Jim, have traveled to many countries and states. Her latest book, Hope on the Way, Devotions to Go– contains 52 devotionals for those who love to combine faith and adventure. Visit her website to order with a click on the home page fransandin.comHope on the Way has been nominated by Joy and Company in Arlington, Texas, for the Henri Award (for outstanding Christian Literature) both in the Devotional and Christian Living sections.

Join the conversation: What do you do to stay attached to the Vine?

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