1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 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. 5 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. 6 Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. John 15: 1-8
Abide in me,
and my words will abide in you.
Fiery, fearless words carried
across the smoking sky,
sprung by the velocity of
pent up pain and rage.
Gentle words of hope and mercy.
Strong words of love.
Hard words of loss and lost hope
that taste like ashes in the mouth
uttered on the godforsaken cross-
Nail scared hands and pierced side,
impaled body, severed spine.
Christ in the suffocating void,
where tears are not cathartic
and pain stings the heart.
Draw near us in the darkness.
May you and your words abide in us.
May they be imprinted on every
sacred and beautiful soul
created in the image of God.
No ethereal souls here,
floating off into the heavens.
Only real, embodied souls count-
What you can see and feel and taste
revealed in real suffering and struggle
and the hard fought battle for a more just world.
Let not something so precious and sacred
as one’s own soul be violated.
For the violation of one soul
is worse than 10,000
lost or tarnished treasures.
But may your mindful pruning
bear heavy fruit that will
become transformed into wine,
making drunkards of us all,
delirious at the sight
of the Lord’s abiding presence
at the last table.