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Sunday Scripture Reflection: John 15:1-8

Updated: May 4, 2021

On this Fifth Sunday of Easter, we will read from the Gospel according to John. This Sunday's theme is focused on Jesus' teaching that "He is the vine" and his example of how those who follow him will be committed to being ones who serve God through the work of the community. Our society often encourages individual achievement, even in the context of teamwork, but our reflection will focus on an understanding of being fruitful in community, for the community.

Our Scripture passage is found in the Gospel according to John. You may find the Scripture lesson by selecting the following link: (John 15:1-8).

For continuing study, reflect on these questions (found in the study guide below):

  • Prior to reflecting on the Scripture passage for this week, you may give some thought to the cultural practice of “UBUNTU” commonly known in South Africa. For a short description of this idea, as told by Nelson Mandela, you may watch this short video interview: (

  • After reading the Scripture for this week, reflect on some words or phrases that you hear repeated…some examples: vine, branch, fruit, abide, and love: what might these mean in your relationship with God and others?

  • After reading the “WHAT…” paragraph in the guide below, reflect on how the images and the often repeated words might be connected; and what might it mean to be “mutually abiding?”

  • After reading the “WHERE…” paragraph below, reflect on the idea that in a “living, growing community of faith” how are the “branches” of the community related? How might the idea of “pruning” things that are not productive actually be a source of growth and health…both for the individual and the community?

  • After reading the “SO WHAT…” paragraph below, reflect on the possible spiritual dangers for the individual and the community when people decide to “go it alone” because they believe they don’t need others. Reflect on the question: “How does your community of faith function as branches abiding in Jesus, the vine?”

  • After reading the “NOW WHAT…” paragraph below, consider the African proverb, “Because we are, I am” and reflect on how this speaks to the works of the Spirit of God, and what deeds are we capable of if we are faithful to listening to the Spirit?

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