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Some of us spent some time discussing John 15 Sunday morning. In the blockquote are some excerpts from the chapter, to refresh our memories.
Then there are six “simple” principles that stand out to me from the chapter. I say “simple” because they are simple to state. That does not mean they are particularly easy to understand, verbalize, or learn to practice.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener …
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
go and bear fruitâ€”fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other.
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first … As it is, you do not belong to the world …
‘They hated me without reason.’
We cannot bring much righteousness, justice, or goodness – “fruit” – into this world from within ourselves. It has to be Sourced through us.
That Primary Source is Jesus (or the Spirit of Christ).
The connection, or the means of the transfer of this goodness, is not physical, but personal. That is, not material or even worldly, but relational, spiritual, moral.
This is the source or means of real joy in human life – because it is what we are made for.
The priority obligation laid upon us by Jesus, explicitly and twice in this short selection, is “love each other.”
This style of life is probably not a route to acclaim in this world.