My beloved (God) had a vineyard (us) on a very fertile hill (our families and communities). God dug it and cleared it of stones (sin), and planted it with choice vines (the Word, baptism, forgiveness, sacraments). God built a watchtower (Holy Spirit, church, pastor) in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it (Sunday school, confirmation, Bible study). God expected it to yield grapes, sweet, succulent grapes, but?
Let’s face it. We do often produce wild grapes, sometimes with intention, sometimes carelessly, sometimes unexpectedly. And God does need from time to time to weed out the wild grapes in our lives. Why? So that new growth can happen. Those weeding times are very hard on us, times when we can feel oppressed and even abandoned.
But we are never alone. God is always there, waiting for the new shoot to come from the stump that we are, waiting for the growth of wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and the fear of the Lord, waiting for us to yield sweet, succulent, juicy, divine grapes.
Hard times are growing times, dark and productive. Let us rejoice and be glad in them.
Loving God, we give thanks for your good gardening, for your patient planting, feeding, watering and weeding. We trust that your harvest from us will be sweet and bountiful. Amen. — SB