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As a teenager, I worked in my family's market gardens. We saw some bumper crops of fruit, flowers, and vegetables. Although whatever we did called for a steady toil at times, I comforted myself with the thought that we were helping to feed the townsfolk; it was good to be serving our neighbors in this way.
Important as this effort was, I realized in later years that it was possible to serve even more fully by bringing forth fruits of a different kind. Speaking of this work, Christ Jesus said: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." Jesus goes on to show what enables us to fulfill God's spiritual purpose for us: "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:1, 2, 5).
Sap rises through the vine to the branches, giving life and nourishment. The Christ, the spirit of God, of Truth and Love, enables us to see that God gives us life. Without this understanding of the spiritual source of vitality and strength, our lives are not lived to the full, and we cannot be fruitful in the way Jesus described. Jesus knew that God, divine Love, gives only good to His children, and he showed us the way to bring forth this goodness in our day-to-day experience. Among the fruits of his labor were the healing works he performed, the lives redeemed from poverty, sickness, and sin. Speaking of the purpose of Jesus' lifework, Mary Baker Eddy writes in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, "His mission was to reveal the Science of celestial being, to prove what God is and what He does for man" (p. 26).
Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.
Pauline D. Jenner
God is the boss of my house
Written for the Sentinel
What do we expect when we pray?
Sarah Goetze Hyatt
Prayer heals fear and pain
Margaret M. Pinkham
Obedience to divine law—not golden images
"Spirituality in the Workplace" by Edward Iwata
Adventuring with God
Marjorie Spencer Darling
Divine Love and the Second Commandment
Barbara M. Vining
During my teen years I was plagued off and on by an extreme...
Phyllis Hannel Bundt
One Halloween night I went horseback riding in the Hollywood...
Linda Rousselot with contributions from David A. Gerlt
As a young mother, I suffered from hay fever for many...
Maurine Mathison Topp