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April 29, 2018. Pastor Keith preaches today on Jesus preparing the disciples for his departure by using the image of grape vines being pruned. Like the earliest Christians, cut off from Jesus and going out into the world to spread the gospel, we too are God’s vineyard. God cares for us one by one, as a vigneron lovingly prunes grape vines by hand.

*** [Keywords: 2018 Christ Lutheran Church Easter Garden of Gethsemane Good Friday Gospel of John Holy Communion Island of Patmos Jesus is with us Jesus’ first miracle Last Supper Matthew Maundy Thursday Pastor Keith Holste Prophet Isaiah Sermon on the Mount abide in me abide with me as I abide with you abiding in you acting in his stead address disciples argument arrest arrested assurances attached to him authorities balance baskets full left over being pruned bereft best wine better things down the road better wine brain disease branch by branch branches extending broken for us budget stay in the black celebration come to life common cup communal meal condemned connected to him convert sunlight crucified cut off cut off from others cyber bullied deeper roots deepest roots of all drink the wine early Christians eat the bread employment endure most intense pruning everything changes exiled faithful fed a crowd flourish followers of Jesus forewarns them forgiven fruit of life fruits we produce gathered in his name gracious words of presence grafted to him grape orchards grape vine grapes planted on marginal soil grieving process growing of grapes hard to bear harvested haters his roots are our roots holding us hope of life for all image important for community improve upon grapes individual care interpret their lives isn’t worst thing job prospect last meal led to hill left there to hang life cut off life for all people life gets hard living out this love lonely love one another low unemployment lush and wet make ends meet makes life better in end merged together miraculously more character wine most severe pruning mowed down by life multiplied no machines not cutting but pruning not letting us go oneness in community pays off persecuted person by person plant by plant planted us prayer preparing disciples for departure produce the fruit profound loneliness pruned beyond bearing pruned by hand pruned from human race pruned on the cross pruning pure promise pushed and pulled receive new life receiving bread and wine renewed promise robust economy rocky on hillside sermon set apart single mom or dad soil strengthening tastes better terminated they will know we are Christians by our love thrown down tough soil tried trivia night questions vineyard we are God’s vineyard what we were to suffer whispered in moments wine and bread wine at wedding wine left over won’t be the same words of comfort]