Introductory Note:

One of the primary faculty members at our recent Renovaré Institute residency in Dallas, TX was Trevor Hudson, a South African pastor and author who teaches the with-God life as much by his profoundly gentle presence as by his deeply wise lectures. In a session entitled “Abiding in the Vine,” Trevor challenged us to be open to the pruning aspect of God’s work in our lives. He asked those of us who might be tempted to think of this pruning as harsh or punitive to picture his wife, Debbie, who loves to care for her rose bushes. “She is never gentler with her roses, and never closer to them, than in the moment of pruning,” he told us.

Today, in honor of Maundy Thursday, we’d like to share the 38th entry from Trevor’s book Pauses for Lent: 40 Words for 40 Days, which focuses on the word, “prune.” May you be grafted ever more deeply into the vine in these final days of Lent.

(If you find yourself being drawn to the possibilities of study with the Renovaré Institute, please be aware that the application deadline for our 2016-2018 Boston cohort is April 1st.)

Carolyn Arends
Director of Education, Renovaré

Day 38 – Maundy Thursday


[The Father] removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.”
John 15:2

Pruning helps trees bear healthy fruit. It does not make them look more beautiful, but it does make them more fruitful. Unnecessary branches must be pruned, cut off, so that the tree can produce all the fruit it can.

In his striking image of the vine and the branches, Jesus speaks of how our lives need to be pruned by God. Those parts of our lives that lead us to resist Jesus’ way of love have to be stripped away. This pruning is done directly by the vinedresser, the Father, cutting the branches.

This pruning usually occurs when we experience hardship and humiliation. Through difficult times, we are challenged to recognize God’s pruning hand. Only then will we be accepting of God’s cleansing work in our lives instead of resisting it.

Daily Practice

As God to reveal to you how selfishness and self-centeredness gets expressed in your relationships. Pray for God to gently prune you of your resistance to love.