Reflections on tenacious love plus relationship as vine & branches – themes from 1 John 4 and John 15.

Active love establishes a tenacious & enduring relationship; find its allegory in the vine and branches in 1 John 4 and John 15. If the incarnation of holy love is the vine and we are the branches, what fruit do we bear? What or whom does the fruit nourish? What is essential and what must be pruned away? In what soil are the vine and the branches rooted, to be nurtured, to grow, to flourish? We are here to sustain each other through relationships that are sacred.
Song of Myself (excerpt) — Walt Whitman
44 … All forces have been steadily employ’d to complete and delight me,
Now on this spot I stand with my robust soul.
45 … Crying by day Ahoy! from the rocks of the river,
swinging and chirping over my head,
Calling my name from flower-beds, vines, tangled underbrush,
Lighting on every moment of my life,
Bussing my body with soft balsamic busses,
Noiselessly passing handfuls out of their hearts and giving them to be mine …

Of Vine and Branches

We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond. — Gwendolyn Brooks

We are leaves of one branch, the drops of one sea, the flowers of one garden. — Jean Baptiste Lacordaire

Maybe you are searching among branches for what only appears in the roots. — Rumi

How can you bear fruit? How can you imagine being beyond yourself? How can you realize your potential if you have no grounding, no sense of origin, no affirmation of possibility outside yourself? The bearing of fruit depends on dependence. It depends on connection. It depends on origin. It depends on belonging. As soon as you think you can produce anything from the basis of your own sovereignty, from your own efforts, from your own sense of independence, think about it. What kind of fruit will that be? Because bearing fruit has everything to do with who you are in relationship. — Karoline Lewis

… our sole responsibility to the rest of the branches is love. — Meda Stamper

Looking closely, we see the many entwined branches, winding their way around one another in intricate patterns of tight curls that make it impossible to tell where one branch starts or another one ends. This is not just intricate; it’s intimate, and the vine shares with its branches the nutrients that sustain it, the life force of the whole plant … this vine is one with the branches … we find the best grapes close in to the vine, “where the nutrients are the most concentrated.” … This kind of abiding … showers us with “shalom, which speaks of wholeness, completeness, and health.” Here, close to the vine, immersed in shalom, we find not only nourishment but also hope and joy. — Kathryn Matthews

Stubborn Love (excerpt)
Performed by The Lumineers
link to video
Songwriters: Jeremy Fraites / Wesley Schultz
… It’s better to feel pain, than nothing at all
The opposite of love’s indifference
So pay attention now
I’m standing on your porch screaming out
And I won’t leave until you come downstairsSo keep your head up, keep your love
Keep your head up, my love
Keep your head up, my love
Keep your head up, keep your love

On Stubborn, Abiding Love

Tolerance must give way to tenacious love that overwhelms the forces of indifference, intolerance and hate. Only then can we live into Dr. King’s vision of the beloved community and the common good … — Paul Louis Metzger

I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, [God] will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’; rather God will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?’ — Mother Teresa

I think, therefore I am? Nonsense! I love, therefore I am. — William Sloane Coffin

The community that Jesus calls forth is one that embodies an African proverb: Because we are, I am. — Barbara Essex

Where there is love there is life. — Mahatma Gandhi

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