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Tavern Talk #65 - The Vine, the Gardener, and Scuppernongs

Our Tavern Talk for May involves a tale that's as cozy as a southern evening and as rich as the black soil where the scuppernongs grow. This story starts in the heart of Alabama, with those golden, sun-kissed grapes at my grandparents' place.


Now, these weren't just any old grapes. They grew on a vine that sprawled along the fence line right by the road. My granddaddy planted them there on purpose, wide open for anyone passing by. He never put up a fence to keep folks out, and when asked why, he’d say, “Why do you think it's planted so close to the road?” That was his way—his arms and his heart wide open, just like God's grace that's there for the taking, no strings attached.


You see, back in the day, when people talked about vineyards in the Bible, they knew exactly what that meant—vines need a whole lot of love and care, just like we do from God. Jesus tells us in John 15:1,

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.”

He's not just talking about being one of many; He’s the real deal, the main vine that keeps us all growing strong and connected to God.


Now, in this life, just like in those vineyards, there comes a time for pruning. And sure, it sounds tough—snipping away parts that might seem alright but aren't doing much good. But here’s the thing: it’s all about trimming the bits that don’t bear fruit so we can flourish even more. It’s about letting go of what holds us back—our pride, our mistakes, our selfish bits—and letting God do His work.


And just like those branches that need cutting back to soak up more sunshine, we need to open up to the light of the Son, let go of the shadows we cast on ourselves.


And, friends, we're meant to bear fruit, not just keep it to ourselves but share it, spread it, so it can take root and grow. Think about grafting, an old trick where you join parts of plants together to make 'em stronger. That's us, grafted into Jesus, living off His life-giving sap, meant to spread His love, grace, and truth.


So, as we wrap this up, let's ask ourselves: Are we letting the Master Gardener do His work on us? Are we ready to be cut from our old ways and grafted into something new and full of life? These are the questions that can shake up our world and fill our lives with meaning and joy.


Let's stick close to Jesus, our true vine. Let's live like those fruitful branches, nourished by His word, thriving under His care, because without Him, we can't do a thing. But with Him, oh, we'll bear fruit that'll make the gardener proud.


God bless y’all.


May Music (via Spotify)


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