Summary: Jesus speaks to His disciples describing the "Vine" and "branches." We branches are conduits passing on to others God’s grace as it flows through us. If we stay connected to the vine, God’s Grace passes through us on the way to someone in need and they wi

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How many folks here like to “savor the flavor” of a really good glass of wine? Wine is often associated with special events, and surely with fine meals. In fact, there has been quite a bit of evidence provided to show that a glass of red wine once a day is a heart healthy practice.

When you think of fine wines, if you’re so inclined to think of wine at all, you may at first think of France. The French have a long history of vintage winemaking and they have provided the names for most of the well-known wines whose names are familiar to us. For example, Champagne, Bordeaux, Chardonnay, Burgundy are all regions that provide the names to certain types of French wine that, in order to be authentic, must have originated in that region.

The stuff that ball players spray on each other after the World Series, for example, might be called champagne, but if the bottle came from anywhere other than a specific region in France, it’s just “sparkling wine.”

Now, while the French may seem to be the classic wine snobs, some more adventurous winemakers have lately been branching out, so to speak. Some French winemakers have left behind the conservative and highly regulated regions of their homeland and come to America’s more freewheeling wine country around another area quite well known in our country for it’s fine wines. The Napa, California, region because, as Philippe Melka puts it, “Here, you not only have a lot more options, but there is an excitement about trying new things.” Nicolas Morlet, who descends from a long line of champagne producers, agrees: “It is completely different here. We have the freedom to fully realize our passion, to push our limits with every vintage. We aren’t working under a classification made in 1855 or a constitution of grands crus (French for “great growth”).

Still, some things are absolute about winemaking. One foundational principle that applies to both Old World and New World wine is that great wine is always a reflection of a particular vineyard. Repeat: Great wine is always a reflection of a particular vineyard.

If you want to pick a good wine, in other words, you have to know the source.

It seems to me, and perhaps to you as well, if you stop to think about it, Jesus knew a little about wine himself. We often see him at parties in the gospels and it appears He knew exactly what kind of wine would blow the minds of the guests at the Cana wedding feast (John 2:1-12).

We should not be surprised then, that He used this metaphor of a vineyard to describe His relationship to his disciples — as we see here in this morning’s Scripture.

Jesus knew, even back then, the best way to tell what kind of product you were getting would be to look at the label and see from where in the world it came, in other words, the source. In this case, speaking with the disciples, the source isn’t a place but a person — Jesus himself.

Jesus is the Vine. Jesus begins by saying that he is the “true vine,” the source of growth and fruit-bearing, in a vineyard that is tended by the “Father.”

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