The TRUTH Vine

April 29, 2018

Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC

5th Sunday of Easter
John 15:1-8

Listen here:

Gospel Text:

Jesus said to his disciples, ”I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”


Article Citation:

The Rev. Dr. Samuel Wells, “A pastor’s job isn’t to make bad things seem better: If you have to choose between offering false hope and the truth, go with the truth,”Christian Century, April 18, 2018, Website:

Abide and Thrive

May 10, 2015

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

The 6th Sunday of Easter 
Acts 10:44-48; 1 John 5:1-6; John 15:9-17

(Gospel text is provided at the bottom of this post)

During the first few Sundays of Easter we heard stories of encounters with the resurrected Jesus – outside the empty tomb; on the road to Emmaus; and in the upper room. Now, like a television show that gives us a “flashback scene” we’ve gone back in time, before the arrest and crucifixion. We’re getting a glimpse into what Jesus might have said to the disciples just before he was going to leave them. It’s a different picture of Jesus. Through these private conversations, we see a pastoral, caring and supportive Jesus – much different than the image of Jesus during his public ministry.

In his public ministry in John’s gospel, we have a Jesus that is compelling people to a new way of being. He’s turning over the tables in the temples to get them to re-claim their purpose; daring to break down barriers by talking with outsiders, like the Samaritan woman; exhibiting the spirit of God’s command of love for others by healing the blind man, even if it breaks the rules of tradition that tells them they can’t work on the Sabbath.

But now, we find Jesus secluded with his disciples; his inner circle. He knows what’s about to happen. He shifts from being their teacher, preacher and prophet, and is now focused on being their pastor. One of the last acts as a teacher was conveying the importance of servanthood. And now, as Jesus knows what lies ahead, he’s serves them even more, by preparing them for what’s coming next.

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