Scripture for Today: John 15:11 “I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
This beautiful flowering vine is obviously called the Flame Vine for its vibrant color. It grows very quickly and is a native of Brazil and Paraguay. Some stems can be as long as 80 feet! Its vigorous growth will cover fences, trellises, trees and small buildings. When everything else is dying and turning brown in the fall and winter, this vine puts on a stunning show of flame-colored blossoms. In a cold bleak time one can almost feel its warmth.
That beautiful happy color only stays vibrant when these flowers stay connected to the vine. Today’s verse speaks of joy, a much-sung commodity in the Christmas season. Jesus is telling His disciples that the fruit of joy comes as we stay connected to the vine, meaning Jesus Himself. Remaining connected to this source of joy is done through our obedience to His commands. We remain in His love (verse 9-10) through following His commands, enjoying that sense of closeness to His heart. His joy comes through that connection as well, especially as we love others as He has loved us. (verse 12)
There are quite a few props to joy that are missing from my celebration of Christmas this year. Somehow, without some Christmas traditions I can lose sight of my joy. But the joy that comes from connection to Jesus remains and cannot be stolen from this season. His joy is a complete one that does not depend on those outward prompts. His quiet deep joy comes from the warmth of His love and presence. And just like the flame vine I can exhibit vibrant joyful color against a bleak landscape because of His joy!
Thank you Lord, that You give me joy.