Read: John 15:1-8
For her mid-October birthday, I chose the customary bouquet of flowers for my wife, Katie, and stationed it on the kitchen island. It soon became apparent we could get some real mileage out of this flower arrangement by pulling out the wilted blossoms day by day. Truth be told, that bunch of flowers lasted nearly two weeks going this route, and at that rate, I was beginning to think I could squeeze another holiday out of them!
Initially, I thought it was a bummer that the best flowers in the bunch (miniature roses) were the first ones to go. Not long after they’d been home, they drooped and dried out. Carnations and mums? Wow, they held up for days on end! Truth be told, every one of those flowers died the moment they were cut from the plant and shipped to the florist. Some just faked being alive longer than others. Reflecting on things from a spiritual perspective, it dawned on me that maybe the roses were the most “authentic” of all — the moment they were severed from the “vine” they wilted away quickly. No pretense, no posing, no pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps. They recognized their fate from being disconnected to their source of life.
The template of John 15:1-8 is a great tool for reflecting on our own spiritual authenticity this Christmas season. “Apart from me you can do nothing” Christ says. On the other hand, He tells us that abiding in Him, and His Word abiding in us creates at least two pathways for our lives to touch others:
We will glorify our Father in heaven.
We will bear much fruit which will in turn bless others.
All of the shopping, wrapping, baking, caroling and gift exchanging in the world (in and of itself, apart from abiding in Christ) is like a fruitless, withering branch when compared to abiding in Christ and letting His influence fill us with joy and flow through us like “streams of living water” (John 7:38).
Savor what we have in the Savior who came to bring us life, and commit to stay closely connected to Him in fellowship this Christmas season. By doing so, you won’t be the only one who is blessed!