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A better harvest

This year I’m determined to be a more serious viticulturalist. Over the last few years, I’ve only needed one toe to crush the harvest and a thimble to measure the yield. My mistake has been to give the plant too much water and to think that luscious green foliage is a sign of health and fruitfulness. But this year I’m changing tack. I plan to leave the watering to the mercy of the weather, and to nip the green leaves that are all flare and no fruit.

I’m taking my cue from the Book. “I am the Vine and my Father is the Gardener,” said Jesus. “He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” Grape vines are meant to grow fruit. That’s their raison d’être. And to fulfill their function they need pruning not pampering. It seems counterintuitive, but I’m sure that’s the way to popping the cork.

More importantly I need to remember that the Book is more interested in my fruitfulness than in giving tips to achieve the best Chardonnay. For that is my raison d’être. The Christian life is not a spray of green leaves merely for show, but a bunch of grapes for the good of others and for the Master’s glory. And therefore I need to be patient and cooperative when the Gardener draws his secateurs and walks in my direction.

DM 6th October 2020


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