December 16, 2008

Advent Basket Day 16

This Advent bag for today is easy for us to remember what it is. It's bigger than the other miniatures and a definite box. It's a box of raisins. "Fruit is good for snacks. Jesus taught how we could produce fruit." Read John 15:1-5.

I felted a picture of a grape-vine. We have a grapevine in our greenhouse and for years I read about pruning vines for producing fruit. The center framed picture is how austere grapes are to be pruned. Remind you of something?

Jesus said, "You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken. Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you ... you can't bear fruit unless you are joined with me."

There is differing varieties of grapes I've now discovered. Mine is not a wine grape, but a table grape. It is not supposed to be pruned austerely. Once I stopped pruning it, we got tons of grape clusters hanging down in the greenhouse. But I still nurture it: watering and fertilizing it, ridding it of dead leaves or diseased branches.

In my art work, some grape clusters are hidden under the leaves. My friend Ellen once drew a grape vine with many leaves and said her picture was a reminder of community. We need community. The covenant of community is a primary theme of the Bible. Community can help us see our fruit.

The John 15 context carries on with "Love one another as I have loved you".

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