Garry told the story of Basil The Branch tonight as he looked at John 15 (‘abiding in the vine’) and fruitfulness. This story by Andrew McDonough shows us Basil striving very hard to produce grapes (the children worked very hard at pulling silly faces to demonstrate his hard work!), only to find that fruitfulness comes as a result of being part of the vine, not effort on our part.
Fruitfulness in Christian terms is often described through the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). This comes about as Jesus prunes or cleans us (the word is the same in Greek); there is always more fruit to come as we grow in our knowledge of Christ. Col 1:9-10 speaks of us living a life worthy of the Lord, pleasing Him in every way and bearing fruit in eveyr good work as we grow in our knowledge of God. The fruit we bear may well look different, since we are a body with different parts (1 Cor 12:12-19), but as we do what God says to us individually, we will find fruitfulness comes naturally. What we mustn’t do, of course, is ‘leaf’ it to someone else!