Vicar’s Reflection: 29 April 2018, 5th Sunday of Easter
Every life is precious. This is one of the underlying Christian values that supports our society. Christians understand this as being one Body in Christ. John Donne famously wrote in his Meditation XVII: “No man (person) is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.” Last ANZAC Day, the 103rd commemoration of Gallipoli, we remembered those thousands of soldiers and other personnel; men and women risked and, in many cases, lost their lives to safeguard these values and our freedom. Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel are reminders of the connectedness of life. “I am the true vine…you are the branches…” The life-giving power of a fruitful vine is a symbol of the community of Israel from the times of Noah who was said to be the first one to plant vines (Genesis 9:20) and to produce wine. Wine, as an alcoholic drink has its dangers, but in ancient times it was a safe source of hydration and nourishment in an arid climate where stagnant water could be a source of illness or death. “Do not drink water only, but take a little wine to help your digestion” Timothy was advised by Paul (1 Tim 5:20). “I am the vine – you are the branches” said Jesus, our source of life-giving wisdom and power. As we are in communion with Him, His words will inspire and nourish faith, hope and love; and most especially - life.