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Lessons from the Vineyard

Natural wine, dry wine, and bio-dynamic wine are used to describe wine made without chemical intervention or man-made irrigation. The vine is grown and watered by sun and rain. A thoughtful vinedresser prunes the vineyard for maximum yield of perfectly ripened grapes. The grapes are carefully harvested and then pressed using timing and a gentle guiding of the vintner’s hand. They are guided not forced.

The older vines have roots that reach deep into the earth, thirty feet, and bring underground hydration and nutrients producing some of the finest wine in the world. I love that the invisible roots and also careful tending of the vine gives way to a well-crafted wine.

Last summer standing in a vineyard in Franconia, I studied the vine closely. The grapes were nearing harvest and the lower branches were heavy with plump clusters of Silvaner grapes, a variety unique to this region. The rootstock connecting the branches and the roots was weathered with scars in the bark. It is the connector of the roots and the branches.

The words written in the gospel of John came to life right before my eyes. Jesus, bearing scars, is the vine, the rootstock that connects us to the branches. With Jesus, God our vinedresser creates a deep and hidden root system that will produce fruit in our lives.

The tender care of the vinedresser produces great fruit. Our vinedresser does not force our lives into a factory of cloned beauty. We are tended to with her gentle hand and pruned with the utmost care, to bring about our best selves. We live in community and yet we are individually cared for.

I stand in the dirt and look over the miles of rolling vineyards and I am in awe of our place on this big beautiful earth.

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in Him is he that bears much fruit, far apart from me, you can do nothing. John 15:1-5 ESV

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