11 September 2006

The Vineyard

While we were in California, we visited the Firestone vineyard. (Yes, this is the same family that owns the tire, and yes, for those of you who followed The Bachelor, I learned that the single son is the Firestone bachelor. For any of you single gals out there, his bachelorette did not work out. He is still single.)
The vines may be 500 years old. The gnarled vines are as thick as small tree trunks, much thicker than I expected. They sustain life for thousands of grapes. The gardeners graft the grapes into these older and wiser vines. They prune the grapes so that the grapes do not sneak any vines to the earth and try to suckle life on their own. You see, on their own, the grapes cannot provide themselves with the nourishment they need. They need the nourishment to come from the old vines, the thick, hearty vines of 500 years so that the grapes may be succulent and juicy and sweet.
This is what makes a good grape.

Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them and participated in the richness of the olive root, do not boast over the branches. But if you boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
Romans 11:17-18

“I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He takes away every branch that does not bear fruit in me. He prunes every branch that bears fruit so that it will bear more fruit. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me – and I in him – bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing. John 15:1-5


Erin said...

This was great! Such a visual of what my little grape-y tendrils try to do on a daily basis. I have seen the harsh soil of vineyards- it's amazing that anything can grow there at all. Thankfully there is a Vine who has been in the vineyard, alive and flourishing, from the foundation of the Earth!

You've given me a new angle to ponder on this.

Robin said...

When I began reading this post, my mind went to John 15 immediately. Your description and explanation helped flesh out that all-too-familiar passage anew. My only wish is that you would have had a camera that day to give me a visual.

Simple, beautiful post.

Heather said...

Hey, I did have a camera! The pics are on my husband's computer. I'll have to add one later.

L.L. Barkat said...

I can't actually decide which is harder... abiding or offering my tender shoots for pruning. The first takes humility, the second courage. Neither is on my top-ten list of personal qualities. The thought of grapes is, however, a definite lure to do both.