John 15:5: I am the vine, and you are the branches; he who abides in Me will bear much fruit….
You don't have to be a botanist to realize that branches on vines or trees cannot grow unless attached to a dynamic life system that brings it nutrients to grow. As a Christian branch we are grafted into Jesus who tells us throughout John 15 that the source of His energy is love.
In verse 9 Jesus says "...now remain in my love" ; in verse 12 "...love each other as I love you" ;
in verse 13 "Greater love than no man than this, he lay down his life for his friends" and in verse 17 "this is my command that you love one another". Couple these verses with Mark 12:31, "love your neighbor as yourself", one has the understanding that the nutrient to grow Christian branches is self-sacrificing love.
What does this love look like in our divisive and polarized society? Could it mean that Christians will model Jesus love in restoring dignity to conversations with people who have different political opinions than the ones you hold. Rejecting the trend to demonize your opponents and 'reach across the aisle' in response to divisive comments and opinions is Jesus's intended "love "reaction for Christians.
This passage served as Tallowood's key verse in its "Tallowood 2020 campaign". The spiritual substance of this verse and the balance of chapter 15 message challenges us to grow our trust in Jesus to overcome the world's spiritually toxic environment. Living our lives in Christ challenges us to love the unlovable humans around us. Only He can empower us to fulfill this impossible feat!