“Ouch! Did you feel that?”
“Yes, I felt it over here! That hurt. Hey down there, did you all feel that too?”
“Oh yes, we also felt it even more so as it happened closer to us”
They all murmured, questioning one another as to how deep they felt the pain, until those closest were able to answer what happened. “We saw the one turning brown from drying out. The one was getting restless, pulling away from the center. It finally fell off. We felt it deep down. We will mourn, but we will try to not let it happen to us. We will stay close to the center.”
A little time later…
“Wow, did you feel that amazing warmth?”
“Yes I felt it over here”
“So did we! How wonderful. What’s happening, can anyone see? Look around.”
“We can see it down here! Something green, fresh, new is sprouting right from the center! We all have to help it survive and nurture it!”
It should hurt when one of our brothers and sisters in the Lord fall away. There should be a genuine concern.
And as it should hurt during sorrow, we should also be full of joy each time a new convert comes into our flock. We should be ready and willing to help them and nurture them in the Lord.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman
2 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.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 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.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.