Connected in Christ (John 15:1-8)
We all see productivity everywhere. It is one important element in life to measure success. Those who produce are rewarded and get more. Those who do not produce are thrown out. We see it in our economic system, schooling or educational system, employment or career promotions, etc. Productivity, productivity, productivity….
In the context of today’s Gospel parable on Jesus as the vine and we are the branches, it appears that it demands productivity when it uses the concept of fruit-bearing. “Some branches produce fruit and are pruned, cared for and nurtured. Some branches do not produce fruit and are removed, thrown away and burned.” But is Jesus really demanding productivity from us? Is this parable demanding us to work hard in our spiritual life to become. productive? Are we making productivity a goal in our spiritual life or a way to survive in our relationship with God?
My humble answer is “no”. Jesus is not talking about productivity but connectivity with Him or with God. What’s the difference? Productivity is more of a transaction that doesn’t usually create deep abiding and intimate relationships. Jesus, as our vine, wants and offers connectivity, relationship, and intimacy to us, his branches. Christianity is about relationship, not a transaction.