The readings for this week are ones we would sometimes rather ignore, but it’s good for our growth to be challenged by God through difficult passages. This one from the prophet Isaiah begins with the image of a vineyard, carefully attended to by God. When we plant a garden, we have visions of beauty and order and fruitfulness. God’s expectations would have been no different for Israel. God would have expected the people to bear the fruit of peace, gratitude, and mutual care. Instead, they turned their backs on God and on each other.
In terms of Christian community, to what extent does the spiritual health of each individual “vine” contribute to the health of the “vineyard” as a whole? How has God cleared away the stones, prepared the soil, and planted good things in your life as if it were a vineyard? What vines are flourishing in your life by the grace of God? Which vines might be resisting God’s gifts and calls, and therefore might be withering?
In prayer, ask God to show you the nature of your resistance and pray for the Spirit to help you let go of that resistance.