The more I look at this text in chapter 15 and contemplate its placement in John’s Gospel, the more I come to believe that it is associated with the Lord’s Supper—and with the community gathered around Christ.
Lineage matters, but thirst makes greatness possible. Carried across oceans, these vines have rooted on this shore, to live always on the edge of death. The vinedresser prunes tendrils and branches lifted in supplication, rationing water so that the vines bear their fruit in deserts of constraint. Now the globed sweetness is crushed for you, the burst skin returned to the earth, feeding tomorrow. The wine in the dark oak waiting, rises at last in the cup now lifted to meet this human thirst. It sings this moment in the mouth of the living.
This Sunday’s texts from Daniel and Mark (and, perhaps, Hebrews) are quite apocalyptic in their outlook. This may lead most preachers to focus their attentions elsewhere—though post-election, many U.S. partisans may be feeling fairly apocalyptic themselves.