Here is a poem intended as a kind of comment or illumination on the beautiful gospel from John 15 which is set for this Sunday, and which I post in advance in case anyone would like to use it in a service. It is from my book Parable and Paradox, the last in a sequence of seven sonnets on the ‘I AM’ sayings in John’s gospel. this one is on one of my favourites ‘I Am the Vine, ye are the branches’.
As always you can hear me read the poem by clicking on the title or the play button
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
How might it feel to be part of the vine?
Not just to see the vineyard from afar
Or even pluck the clusters, press the wine,
But to be grafted in, to feel the stir
Of inward sap that rises from our root,
Himself deep planted in the ground of Love,
To feel a leaf unfold a tender shoot,
As tendrils curled unfurl, as branches give
A little to the swelling of the grape,
In gradual perfection, round and full,
To bear within oneself the joy and hope
Of God’s good vintage, till it’s ripe and whole.
What might it mean to bide and to abide
In such rich love as makes the poor heart glad?
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