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The good news for the day, May 17, 2017

Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Easter (287)

Jesus says to His friends: “I am the real vine, my Father the tender of the vine. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit He prunes away; everybody who does produce fruit—He also prunes to make them bear more fruit. You, though, are already pruned because of the word that I have spoken to you. Stay “in” me, as I stay in you. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit all on its own—unless it stays on the vine, so neither can you unless you stay in me. I am the vine of which you are the branches. Whoever stays in Me and I in him will produce a lot of fruit—outside of Me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not stay in Me will be thrown out like a dead branch and dry up; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned. If you stay in me and my words stay in you, ask anything you want—and it will get done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear a lot of fruit and become folks who learn from me.” (John 15)

The reality of this poem reaches some people—how One Life flows in a long, tangled grapevine to you, how it dies and lives again seasonally, how this Life needs pruning and constant care—how you can cut so much back to the ground—but it will come back stronger than ever.

That is the image—but what is the Good News for you in the reality? What do these words say to inspire and challenge you?

Once you have “absorbed” the life-blood of Jesus, and He is “in” you, you realize how rich each moment of your life is. You and Jesus share everything—your time is not just precious, but productive in a divine way—your very smile, your tone of voice, the way you welcome an opponent, attacker or friend, the appreciation of kindness, and so on—these are offering the Presence of Jesus to the person in front of you. Your intellectual humility allows you to accept the strong heat and pounding rains—the pressures of the world around you—the pressures as well as nourishment that come. You do not set up defenses, but—with the strength of vibrant Life within—you change these challenges into nourishing and inspiring growth for others.

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