The scripture reading for this coming Sunday is one of my favorite passages of scripture. In the Gospel of John, Jesus is giving final instructions to his disciples, and he uses a beautiful image for them to hold onto even though their Lord is about to take his earthly leave of them. He says, “I am the Vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit.” It is a lovely and powerful reminder that God is the source of life itself and all that we do as followers of Christ grows out of his life and love for us.
I chose this text for preaching on Sunday because after the 10 AM worship service we will celebrate the Annual Meeting of the Congregation and the Corporation of Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church. The Annual Meeting is an opportunity to pause each year to reflect on and celebrate what we have done as a community of faith, the growth we have enjoyed, and the challenges and joys of Christian mission and ministry. In this beautiful season of Spring, the metaphor of our being the branches of Christ, growing upward and outward, seemed the perfect image of what it means to be the church.
If you are unable to be here on Sunday or to stay for the meeting, please pick up a copy of the written Annual Report which shows how we as a congregation have responded in faith to the call of Christ. One year in the life of Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church is but a small window into a longer, deeper commitment of this congregation’s vitality. Flip through these pages and you will see many ways in which we have nurtured Christian formation among our members, and furthered the church’s work in the community and the world. Hopefully, you will find hints of your own participation recorded in the Annual Report as evidence of your investment of time, talent and financial commitment. You may even be inspired to new ways of being branches abiding in God through Christ!