The Vine


Discipleship involves the intentional ordering of our lives in connection with Jesus - through prayer, Bible study and other habits and patterns.

Jesus is the vine.  Our Father in Heaven the gardener. We are branches - made for connection with God. Kingdom apprentices - learning how to abide, choosing to obey, growing in our ability to hear, always being loved.

Discipleship is about cultivating the rhythms and patterns that bring us into deeper connection with God - prayer, Bible study, silence, solitude and rest. Following Jesus is about copying the way He lived and understanding that we can’t do anything of value without Him.

In relationship with God we discover there are seasons of growth, seasons of wonderful fruitfulness but also seasons of being cut back.

Discipleship is intentional. We choose to organise ourselves around the presence of God. We choose to respond to the promptings of God. We choose to be who we are - branches.

Discipleship is about the vine.

But what do you see as you look at this image?

As you talk with Jesus what is He teaching you?

Are there particular Bible verses that you find helpful in the light of this image, or is there a part of the scriptures that further illuminates this icon?

Here are some bible passages that we believe are at the heart of what this icon is all about.

  • John 15 - “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful…Remain in me, as I also remain in you…If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
  • Romans 12.3 - “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”
  • Philippians 4.6 - “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
  • Matthew 6.6 - “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.”
  • Exodus 20:8-11 - ‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God…For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Questions and Practices: How can we live in the light of The Vine?

It is important that these Icons don’t just invite us to reflect but that they move us into action. Below you will find some practices to be explored on your own or in groups and some questions that you and others may wish to reflect upon:

  • When you reflect upon your life at the moment are you living within a healthy rhythm of work, rest and play?

  • Are you caring for yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually and relationally (eating, sleeping, exercise etc)?

  • Does prayer, regular retreating from the busyness of life and scripture reading hold an important enough place in your day to day life? How and when do you create space to pray? How and when do you sit down to read the Bible?

  • What was the last thing that God spoke to you through the Bible?

  • Do you regularly have a sabbath - a day of rest and more time abiding in God’s love?

  • As the vine invites us to let God cut from our lives much of the clutter - is there a way in which you could simplify your life?

  • One of the many habits that Jesus assumes we will practice is fasting - creating space in our lives for feasting on God - do you regularly fast?

  • Are you too busy - is time a blessing or a curse?

  • Is there anything at the moment that is preventing you from living closely and intimately with God?

  • Down through the years Christian’s have often responded to the presence of God in their lives by creating a ‘rule of life’ - which is simply a pattern of practices and commitments that help us abide. Do you have a rhythm, pattern or rule for your life?

  • How are you going to practice the vine?

How are you going to practice The Vine?