April 06, 2020


Devotion for the Week...

We had a night of freezing rain and wind last week and woke to see the trees coated in ice. Zach told me that branches had fallen off the big tree outside his bedroom window. "And not just small branches, either," he said. "There's one big branch broken off, but it's still caught in the tree, stuck in the other branches." That branch is still stuck there, days later, dangling in the tree, but not connected to the trunk.

Years ago, someone told me that the most effective way to dry out wood for a fire, if you're cutting the trees down yourself, is to leave the branches attached. That way the leaves will continue to draw the sap from the tree until there's nothing left. When the leaves die off, the wood will be dry. Early the next spring, I saw this in action when a homeowner along my walk pruned branches off a small tree and left them lying on the edge of his property. The branches suddenly leafed out a couple of days later, even though they weren't connected to anything. What a strange sight that was! The leaves lasted quite a while on the sap stored in the branches, but eventually they withered.

These are strange days, when out of our love for the people around us, we're staying as far away from each other as we can. Officials started out by calling it 'social distancing,' but now they've changed the name to 'physical distancing' to reflect how critical it is that we stay connected socially, even as we stay apart physically. We're being encouraged to check up on seniors and those who live alone, to call or message family often, and to get creative with ways to show we care when we can't just gather around the same table for a meal or a cup of tea. Every call and message, every visit through the window of a retirement home and every video chat to share a coffee is a way to keep those social connections firmly attached.

Jesus used the analogy of branches connected to a vine to demonstrate the importance of our connection to Him, too. In John 15, Jesus said, "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father" (John 15:5-8).

Our connection to Jesus is vital to our well-being, especially when fear and anxiety run rampant around us. He is our source of peace and hope. He said in John 14:27 "I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give." We need that peace today, for sure.
We need to be connected to other people and to Jesus | DevotedQuilter.com
Background quilt is Multiplication
Thankfully, our ability to connect with Jesus isn't affected by the physical distancing measures currently in place. We can still pray and read our Bibles. We can still listen to or play worship music. We can't gather for services, but churches are getting creative and livestreaming services and those services are being watched by people who haven't set foot in a church in years.

Just like a branch needs a connection with the vine or the tree to survive, we need physical connections with other people and a spiritual connection with Jesus. How are we doing at nurturing both these days?

1 comment:

  1. These are surely strange, but special, times! Thank you for this message as it reminds me to call upon those who I would visit with during "normal" times. We all need that connection, just as the branch needs the tree for nourishment and a full life! We all need each other. Blessings to you!


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