by Beth A Richardson on May 1, 2012 · 16 comments

True Vine

Tuesday, May 1. Read the quotes on p. 3. Which of these statements are most helpful in understanding the nature of God’s call?

How do these words help you clarify your call?

Words from The Word: Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” -John 15:5, NRSV

This Week…

Lectionary Texts:

Audio Lectio: Jesus says “I am the vine” – listen to and pray these words from John 15:5-7.

Pray for: the people and countries of Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Spiritual Tools: Hearing the call of God is only half the struggle — we must also learn to discern that call in our lives. Let’s get started with Discerning God’s Will by Nicole Corlew.


O God, who calls those who will follow along with you, show us our duty today, and give us bread for our journey. Through Jesus Christ. Amen.

-Rueben P. Job and Norman Shawchuck
A Guide to Prayer for All God’s People

From page 214 of A Guide to Prayer for All God’s People by Rueben P. Job and Norman Shawchuck. Copyright (c) 1990 by The Upper Room. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Prayer: God of constant love and grace, open my spirit to the gentle movement of your Spirit so I can more fully abide in you. Amen.

Art Credit: “True Vine” from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.

A service of Alive Now magazine. Copyright © 2012 The Upper Room, 1908 Grand Ave., Nashville, TN 37212 USA. Order Alive Now and nurture your spiritual life.

BUZZ May 1, 2012 at 8:20 am

Elaine Prevaliet, S. L’s words: “God only calls us to be who we are.” verifies my personhood for me and in doing so verifies my ministerial callings.

Beth Richardson May 1, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Thank you. And blessings.

Pat May 1, 2012 at 10:22 am

Buzz….These are the same words that caught my attention. As a child listening to sermons the message seemed to be that God would call us to engage in ministry that would be difficult….not something we would want to do….almost like a sentence of some kind. As my theology evolved I gained the awareness that God calls us to become our very best selves and the ministry shows up.

Beth Richardson May 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Pat, I had the same thoughts as a young person. That if I was following God’s call it would always be like Jonah — and I’d end up in the belly of a fish if I didn’t follow. These are words of grace to me.


carmie May 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm

How to find it? That has always been my question and in my frantic search i come up empty. I realize today i am doing it wrong. Need to be still and let it come to me.

BUZZ May 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Amen and amen, carmie.

Beth Richardson May 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Praying for your stillness and God’s presence.

carmie May 2, 2012 at 11:52 am

Thank you. I feel it.

BUZZ May 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Audio Lectio: John 15:5-7
Phrase: “…apart from me you can do nothing.”
Response: I cannot improve on this admonition.

Dear Jesus,
May I always and ever be cognizant of my dependence on you.
May I always and ever be a vessel filled with your love.
May I always and ever glorify your holy name.

Beth Richardson May 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Thank you for sharing your prayer. Blessings,

Nancy C. Hardin May 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm

God calls me everyday.
Yesterday it was to help a young hispanic mother with children in Headstart.
Tonight it is to lead the worship at Wesley Homes.
Somedays it is hard for me to be enthusiastic about answering – my joints hurt.
I have found that i I answer “yes”, the blessing I receive will be awesome.
Great is His name and greatly to be praised.

Beth Richardson May 1, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Amen. And many blessings,

Molly May 2, 2012 at 1:37 am

I found a lot to think about in these three quotes.
First, I thought that Mary Lou Redding appealed most as I am now ‘mature- aged’ and can see how God has used ‘all my experiences’, of life and of himself, and has led me onwards and onwards. And I have been recently concerned about how my ‘call’ is applies in my contemporary situation. Then I thought about my teenage years, when I did have what seemed to be a clear call, which somehow ‘changed’ as I went through university. Now, looking back, God led me in those first clear paths, but in a very unexpectedly different setting. Perhaps the hardest time was the middle years with a young family and the feeling of being torn between ‘calls’. But the Lord had it all worked out and my anxieties about decisions were not necessary. How strange it all seems, to look back over it now.
Then, looking at the other quotes, … They are spot on.
God does call us to be who we are, as he created us, wherever he puts us, and that ‘place where my deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet’, is still there. For me , it has been all of a piece, a wonderful faithfulness of God all the way.

Connie May 4, 2012 at 9:06 am

Dear Molly,

One of my favorite quotes is that we live life forward and understand it backwards.

Molly May 2, 2012 at 1:41 am

I like the photo of the vinefronds reaching out towards the sun. Sometimes I have felt as if God is stretching me out into something new and strange, with only himself to hang onto.

Jeannie May 2, 2012 at 7:35 am

Beth, I loved looking at all the photos of you and your Dad. We honor someone’s life by taking the time to look through photos of them, don’t we? It’s our way of hugging them after they’re gone. God bless you and keep you in His care…always.

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