Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Branch That Bends With Clustered Fruit

This text by Thomas Troeger (b. 1945) is based on John 15:1-8, the (Easter 5) Gospel lesson in the 3-year lectionary.   Thank God that in Holy Baptism we were engrafted into the living Vine, Jesus Christ!  God the Father is the vinedresser.  Pruning is never pleasant to undergo, but so necessary if we are to be bountiful branches in our Lord's vineyard.

1.  The branch that bends with clustered fruit
     Still needs the pruner's blade
     To keep it close to vine and root
     Or else its strength will fade.

2.  The spindly, twisted, tangled coil
     Of branches overgrown
     Produces nothing from its toil
     But feeds itself alone.

3.  The pruner's hook with gently play
     Where fruitful growth is seen
     But like an axe will slash away
     The empty net of green.

4.  O God, who fills with rain and sun
     The grapes we press for wine,
     Cut off the growth our fears have spun
     And prune us to your vine.