This morning during our homeschool time, Emily and I were talking about pumpkins. I simply adore the season of Autumn, so this time of year we try to include pumpkins in as many ways as possible. Pumpkin math, pumpkin pucks, books about pumpkins, pumpkin smoothies, and homemade paleo pumpkin spice lattes (oh wait, those are just for Mommy!) just to name a few.
This particular morning we got scientific and were discussing the various parts of a pumpkin.
Did you know…
The exocarp is the tough outer skin that protects the insides.
The mesocarp is the thick juicy layer that is often eaten.
We all know about the seeds, which can be planted to grow new pumpkin plants or – my favorite – roasted and eaten. Delicious!
Gloppy Goo is the official scientific name for that stringy stuff in the middle that we all throw away. Ok, I admit I don’t really know what that part is called.
There is another part to the pumpkin though, isn’t there? Do you know what it is?
I’ll give you a minute to think while I stare at you like Dora the Explorer waiting for an answer.
Did you get it?
That’s right! The stem – the fruit’s connection to the vine and the “pipeline” for nutrients.
As I read that definition aloud to Emily, the Lord immediately brought to mind John 15:5 which says,
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
So science quickly gave way to Bible study as I opened my Bible to John 15 and we had a great conversation about how Christians are like pumpkins and we must stay connected DAILY to our vine (Jesus) if we are to continue to grow. How do we stay connected? By reading God’s word (the Bible), by praying to Him, and by singing praise and worship songs to Him. In the midst of all of that we must also find time to just rest in Him. Let his light shine on us. To be still and know that he is God (Ps 46:10). To truly LISTEN for His voice.
Just like the vine that must be pruned in order to grow effectively, so must we be pruned. It’s not always easy or painless, but God is our divine gardener and He will work continually to prune away the icky parts – our sin, pride, jealously, greed, etc – in order to give life to his creation and allow us to grow. He wants us to flourish and to live an abundant life connected to Him.
I encourage you to read the entire passage about The Vine and the Branches in John 15:1-17.