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Staying Rooted

The Upper Room Devotion for Thursday. May 23, 2024, was written by Luci Wright of Virginia.

 

Scripture


1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower. 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 NRSV

 

Author's Thoughts


One summer, I planted a young tomato plant and placed a cage around it for protection. But the following morning, I found that deer had eaten all of its leaves. It stood like a skeleton in the cage. I decided to continue watering and caring for that plant since its roots were still intact in the soil. After many weeks, new leaves began to sprout. Eventually, the plant produced many delicious tomatoes. That plant's transformation from stark and skeletal to lush and fruitful reminded me of the power of staying rooted in God's word. Having strong roots and being nurtured helped the plant to grow and produce bountifully.

This is just what Jesus taught about in today's scripture reading. When we remain connected to Jesus, we will bear much fruit. We can choose to nourish our roots in the soil of God's word and stay connected to the branch of Christ. Doing so enables us to endure and flourish through devastating experiences. Daily time spent reading scripture, praying, and in devotion and meditation helps us to maintain and nourish our roots. Even when life breaks us down, our ties to the Lord continue to nurture our growth.

 

Pastor Anthony's Thoughts

Friends,

Are we deeply rooted? When the winds of calamity and challenge blow, are we able to hold our ground? Luci's reflection reminds us of the importance of developing deep roots of faith, that we consistently nourish. Yes, life will sometimes eat away at our budding leaves of joy and peace. Yet, as long as we remain deeply rooted in our relationship with God, joy and peace will bloom again. May we find time to deepen and nourish our roots today.

 

Author's Prayer


Gracious God, help us to stay grounded in you even when the distractions of this world threaten to uproot us. In Jesus name. Amen.

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