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Summary: Pruning does not simply mean spiritual surgery It is not just the removal of what is dead. It can also mean cutting away the good and the better so that we might enjoy the best.

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For those not familiar with an Anglican Service; there are four Scripture Readings before the Sermon.

The Scripture Readings for this day were: Acts 8:26-40; Psalm 22:24-30; 1 John 4:7-21 and John 15:1-8.

A missionary in Africa ....lived in his central mission ....which had a small generator ....to supply current ....for the church ....and a small rectory.

Some natives from an outlying mission ....came to visit the pastor.

They noticed the electric light.... hanging from the ceiling ....of his living room.

They watched wide-eyed ....as he turned the little switch ...and the light ....went on.

One of the visitors asked ...if he could have ...one of the bulbs.

The priest,... thinking he wanted it ....for a sort of trinket,.... gave him one of ...the extra bulbs.

On his next visit to the outlying mission,.... the priest stopped at the hut of the man ....who had asked for ...the bulb.

Imagine his surprise ....when he saw the bulb ....hanging from an ....ordinary string.

He explained that one needed to have electricity ....and a wire to bring the current ....to the bulb.

We may share an understanding smile ....at the innocence of the African native, .... but we may not .....be much better. (Pause)

In our text for today, .....Jesus tells a story..... concerning the importance.... of our connection..... to the true source of life.

To our continued source.... of power.

Our Lord uses the analogy..... of the vineyard ......of the vine .....and the branches.

Just as the electricity .....provides the power necessary for a bulb to produce light,.....

So the vine ......provides the flow of life .....necessary ....for the branches .....to produce fruit.

Jesus is the vine, ....God the Father is the vine grower, ...and the true believers.... are the branches.

As branches ....we are spiritually alive; ....yet we can only grow ....if we are connected to Jesus, ..... If we are connected .....to the true vine.

As long as we are connected to Jesus ....the power of the Holy Spirit.... can run in us...... and keep us spiritually alive... producing fruit.

Our Gospel reading ...has three primary messages.

Pruning, ....Fruit-bearing, .....and Abiding.

(1 Finger) First Pruning

It is interesting ....that the text discusses pruning..... .....as the first item.

Here again the words from the Gospel, BIBLE "He removes.... every branch in me ....that bears no fruit. ....Every branch ....that bears fruit ....he prunes ...to make it bear ....more fruit." END

Jesus says that God the Father prunes the branches that ........bear fruit ...... to allow the branch to do what? ........ To bear more fruit.

Vines left to themselves ....will sprawl in every direction ....and produce huge canopies...... of shoots, .....leaves and branches.

Unless that canopy is controlled, ....the vine..... will not .....yield much fruit.

Pruning at first glance ....may seem to be a counter-intuitive activity.

For what you are pruning .....would seem to most ......as a very healthy vine.

A vine ....that In fact,.... may look healthy .....but it is not bearing.... As much fruit as it can.


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Talk about it...

Mark A. Barber

commented on Aug 12, 2013

Dear Jeffrey, The homily itself is fine. However, I found the way the sermon appears here in Sermon Central to be a bit distracting. There is too much spacing between the lines, and I was continuously having to scroll down. BTW, when I preached from this text, I used the title "Prunes are Good for You. --Rev Mark Barber, Tasso UMC Cleveland, TN.

J Jeffrey Smead

commented on Aug 12, 2013

Thank-you for the comment. I do not know why the spacing is so far apart in this Homily. I will go in and try and correct it. Blessings In Christ. Jeff

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