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.
My first congregation was outside Yakima, Washington located on the Yakima Indian Reservation in a small town named Wapato. The name means ‘big potato’ in the local Native American dialect.
The area’s main industry is agriculture. They grow hops, mint, potatoes, grapes, cherries, apricots, plums, prunes, peaches, pears, and apples. In spring, when the flowers on the fruit trees are budding, the hills can look like they are covered with pink, violet and white blankets.
I should say, I know very little about farming. I know very little about fruit trees. I think the main thing I learned while living in Wapato is that plums and prunes are two different fruit. I always thought prunes were dried plums. Nope. Prunes are dried prunes.
Over the years I saw the process of growing fruit. When the trees were in hibernation, the ranchers would prune the trees. This was necessary to grow healthy fruit. The flowers would bud and then fall. At the appropriate time the fruit would appear. First would come the soft fruit. (Cherries, apricots, peaches, plums and prunes.) Then would come the hard fruit. (Pears and Apples). Then the trees would go back into hibernation.
The fruit did not do anything in this process except remain connected to the tree.
Fruit don’t do anything. All fruit does is stay connected to the tree.
Jesus said, “Abide in me as I abide in you.” The word ‘abide’ is usually translated into English as ‘remain.’
That is all we do. We ‘remain’ in Jesus. Jesus brings us to life. Jesus brings growth.
Peace Lutheran Church
Mill Valley, California