CreatingCommunity is an email devotion to guide your preparation for worship next weekend. Imagine how much clearer and relevant God's Word will be if you have had an opportunity read, reflect, and dwell in the Word prior to worship. You may do this devotion alone, with others, as a family, or over Zoom as a small group.

This devotion is to be done in preparation for this coming weekend's worship.

Please follow these three steps:

1. Read through the text
2. Respond to the questions (select one of the sets of questions)
3. Offer a Prayer
John 15:1-8

[Jesus said:] “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 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. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.”
No Experience Necessary Questions:
  1. What scares, confuses, or challenges me in this text?
  2. What delights me in this text?
  3. What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
  4. What is God up to in this text?
Family Questions (for the entire family):
  1. Do you have a favorite fruit or vegetable? Which one? Do you know how it is grown? Does it follow the seed, stalk or tree, fruit, and harvest process?
  2. What do you know about "pruning"? Have you ever pruned back a plant or flower or seen one pruned so that it would grow better? Does your favorite fruit or vegetable get pruned before you eat it? How can you find out?
  3. Make a list of things that you do (worship, pray, serve, give, etc) that show how you "abide" in Jesus. Compare your list with someone else's list. What do you notice?
Advance Questions:
  1. What does it mean to abide in Jesus? Give some examples of how one abides in Jesus. Do you have a favorite way of abiding in Jesus?
  2. Have you ever been pruned? Describe what that was like and how it helped you bear more fruit for God's and God's reign.
  3. What do you think and how do you feel about being called a disciple? What does it mean, according to this illustration, to be a disciple of Jesus?
Click here to enjoy
John 15 (Robert Evans) Bear Fruit.
Say a Prayer of your own or offer this one.

God of love,
plant us in the soil of your grace.
Nurture us with the strength of Christ,
the vine of everlasting life.
Enlighten us with the wisdom of your Spirit,
which flows through us today and all days.
Abide in us,
that we may abide in you
and live in your love.
In your holy name, we pray. Amen.

Source: Adapted from The Abingdon Worship Annual 2012
 
Pastor Lutz would love to hear your responses, questions, thoughts about your experience with CreatingCommunity. You can reach him at poppastorpaul@sbcglobal.net