JohnSWilson3 Blog

Tale of Two Vines
October 26, 2013, 7:34 pm
Filed under: 1A - Spiritual Notes

There was originally one vine, it’s branch was ancient and in season always produced the most wonderful fragrant blossoms of Jasmine. It loved to slowly grow along the brick face of the building and in season the blossoms would look like gold and were beautiful to behold and smell. In time a new vine began to grow near the roots of the old vine. Within a short period of time this new vine branch grew and intertwined itself into the ancient vine branch. It’s branch grew thick. It produced no noticeable blossoms except more interlacing vines and soon overtook the ancient vine. In fact its branches began to not only take over the face of the building but began to grow under and out of the grass and between the cracks of the car port and into the next yard. Soon the gardener seeing the problem decided to remove the new vine because of its damaging nature. The main branch was cut to prevent any further growth on the face of the building. The new vine that could be removed from the ancient vine was removed, but some remained and in time will die off since it is no longer connected to the new branch that had been cut. The main problem though was that the roots had grown too deep and wide and unable to be removed. So the gardener must continue to remove the damaging new vine to prevent it from obscuring the beauty of the ancient vine. This a a tale of two vines that actually happened over this past couple years in our yard and finally came to a head this morning.

I think this is also a tale that occurs in the body of Christ. The body of Christ is and part of the ancient vine, that Vine is Christ, who said “I am the vine you are the branches.” We too often think we have to try and stay “in the vine” when in reality nothing can snatch us from our Father’s hands, we are in Him, in Christ, who is our Life. The new vine is made up of new ideas, new ways of doing “church,” perhaps things that are even good in and of themselves, but things nonetheless that are selfish and soulish, without love. This puts our focus on things other than on Christ and helps this new vine grow strong and it soon overshadows the expression of the body, and no longer is there a full expression of the beauty and fragrance of Christ within its members, the branches. That expression of Christ’s love has been shadowed by the new vine.

Perhaps it is important to see that the ancient vine will always have a new vine competing with it, at least until all things have been made new and a new heaven and a new earth have supplanted the old order of things. That is at least encouraging. Perhaps this is part of learning to experience the depths of Christ, who suffered, bled, and died while hanging on a tree. The Ancient Tree died on a new tree because of His ancient love, a love before the foundations of the world. The new vine is meant to help us rely on Christ. To see its destructiveness, it’s worthlessness, its corruptness, in contrast to His Love, Life, Grace, and Beauty. This fellowship in His sufferings is meant to help us rely completely on Him and not on ourselves. Perhaps how the body confronts the new vine in it’s seedling form in their midst can lessen the damage done by the new vine, preventing it from entangling its roots into the ancient vine. But only the true Gardener can remove the new vine completely and fully, the branches of the Ancient Vine must go to Him for help, help to put off the destructive vine and stay living by the Ancient Vine, who is real Love, real Life, real Grace, real Beauty.