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Plugging into the Power

The other day, before a parish funeral, a visiting organist asked if there was something wrong with the instrument, as it wouldn’t even produce a note. People pressed switches on the organ and were left puzzled. Why wouldn’t the organ come to life?

Then a more observant parishioner noticed that a CD player was plugged in, but not the organ itself. A second plug was put into a socket and the organ produced music again. Many people today try to tackle all of life’s difficulties and challenges under their own power, refusing to believe that there is a greater power from outside we can plug ourselves into to help us. This Sunday Jesus gives us the powerful image of the vine and the branches. That image of vine and branches stresses the vital connection that should exist between Jesus and us, his disciples. Jesus is the vine, the power, and we are the branches, the instruments. The branches cannot function fully if separated from the vine. But the vine also needs the branches. It is the branches that produce the fruit. Jesus depends on us to produce fruit in the world. Love will make us fruitful. By love all people will know that we are living branches of the true vine. Yes, we can do so much under our own power but unless we connect ourselves to Jesus Christ, the source of love itself, then our lives will never be truly rich and fruitful.

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