I could not pass the flowers, I stopped, inhaled, and broke them from their mother. I imagined her roots drinking of the spring moisture and rich nutrients of earth as I took the fruit from her, this glorious hue of pink that I held in my hand. Not only a sight for the eye, but fragrant with honeysuckle sweetness.
Her branches cracked easy as I bent them.
Collection in fist, stepping into the kitchen, I grabbed what seemed the best fit available, the Starbucks cup, and filled it with water. I happily found it a perfect match, the bundle stood asymetrically, tendrils spilling over the glass.
This may be the most beautiful bouquet to ever grace my coffee table.
But as beautiful as it is, because it’s been cut off from life, it is dying on this third day, reminding me of what the Rabbi was teaching me this morning as I read His Living Water.
It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. ~John 6:63
“I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear fruit. And every branch that is fruit-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.
“Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear fruit by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.
“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce fruit, when you mature as my disciples. ~John 15:1-8 MSG
The flesh, if it isn’t united to the Vine, if it’s roots are not going into the Life-Giving Word of God, and filled with the Spirit that quenches the soul to live, is akin to this beautiful bouquet.
It’s been three days, and they’re fading fast, petals drooping a sorrowful brown, this overcoming, a death take-over of the lively pink.
Tonight, I’ll have to throw them over the side of the deck with the rest of the decaying leftovers of autumn, where they’ll return to earth. Sometime later, soil for worms.
How joyful we can be in our celebration, this week leading up to Easter, that Jesus made a way for us to be grafted into the Vine, tethered to His life. That our turning to Him in repentance brings about a re-attachment to Him, the Source of Life. John 6:47
His invitation, to take and eat of the Bread of Life, to drink deeply of the Living Water, is written for us to stake our roots in. John 6:35; 68-69
Spend some time reading John 6 in the coming days, and see if your thirst grows for Him who loves you. Because when you drink deep, your leaf will never wither. You will bear fruit in season, and the spring in you will well up to eternal life. [Psalm 1:2-3; John 4:14]
For further meditation this Easter week, a reflection of John 3:14 & Numbers 21:9 ~