It is wonderful to connect with a significant person in our lives that we have not seen in a long time. There is great conversation, getting caught up on all that has happened since our last visit and reminiscing about past good times together. It is refreshing and renewing to connect with those we love. In fact, the experience is so good, we sometimes wonder why we let so much time pass before making the connection. Certainly the restrictions of the pandemic have affected our capacity to connect in person with family and friends, making the connections even more heart rendering and emotional.
In the Gospel, Jesus says he is the vine and we are the branches (John 15:1-8). This beautiful passage reminds us we are connected to the greatest love the world has ever known. We are also prompted to remember that if the connection is to stay strong and healthy, it is important for us to take the initiative in helping that to happen. The degree to which we stay connected to Jesus in the midst of our busy lives is often determined by the people and things to which we are connected on a regular basis.
From time to time we might ask ourselves, to whom are we connected in our lives and with whom do we spend our time? Are those with whom we spend time people who are important to us? How do we spend major chunks of our time… working, studying, praying, taking care of our children, texting, gaming, talking on the phone, surfing the net, watching TV? What are we watching, reading and listening to?
The connections we make in various areas of our lives can draw us closer or distance us from Jesus. These connections can heighten our awareness of what is going on in our personal lives and in our world. They can also distract us from seeing what needs attention. We can be so frantic and scattered in connecting with stimulus outside of ourselves that we fail to see our disconnection from the suffering and injustices of the bigger world.
Perhaps it is time to connect again with God, with people we love, with those who are suffering, with goodness and beauty in our world. It is always time to let Jesus, the true Vine, help us to make those connections.
Together in faith,
Very Rev. Christopher Smith, Rector