This week’s Gospel passage continues Jesus’ discourse on the vine and the branches, which I wrote about last week. In her comment on that post, Catherine wisely pointed out the importance of receiving God’s love. Inherent in this image of abiding, of being a branch grafted to a vine, is the notion of receptivity. The branch receives nutrients and water—life!—from the vine, and that is what enables it to bear fruit.
On Tuesday, I took my kids to the Space Needle: we ate lunch while looking out at Puget Sound from 520 feet in the air. Then we walked around on the observation deck. We found their dad’s work building, spotted two helicopters on the roofs of local news stations, and counted four ferries, two sailboats, and a barge on Elliott Bay.
When they’d had enough, we came back to earth and took the monorail into downtown, played on the escalators at Westlake Center, watched a makeshift elevator deliver building materials through the windows of a high-rise apartment building under construction, and took the bus home—where I promptly collapsed on my bed.
Jane fell asleep after a half hour of squirming, and a half hour after that, Jack, bless his heart, got his own snack. He even brought me spoonfuls of his yogurt—including the very last bite. Usually I would have said, “Oh no, honey, you eat it.” But I’d been thinking about receiving love, so I let him give me that last bite. Then he brought me strawberries (he even washed them!) and poured me a glass of apple juice. When Jane woke up, he got her a snack, too—without my even asking.
Jack abides in my love for him—it’s the foundation that secures his life—and that enabled him to give love on this day when I was weary and worn out. When we abide in Jesus’ love, we, like Jack, bear “fruit that will last,” the fruit of loving one another as He loves us.
The Lectionary passages for the 6th Sunday of Easter:
1 John 5:1-6