Easter 5 – Year B
We have a friend who comes to prune bushes because we can't bring ourselves to cut off enough to be beneficial. A quick look at derivations pushes the verb "prune" back to a round and rolling wheel. When left unpruned all the little fiddly bits start sticking out, impeding progress.
A second word to play with in this regard is "abide". It heads us back to wait, trust, believe.
Between active pruning and active waiting we find the creative tension that will allow us to move past condemnation of the pruning process or the waiting. In our current United Methodist iteration there are those who would castrate or prune the GLBTQ community from a larger vine, with nary a thought for the gift of fruit they bear. There are those of the GLBTQ community who would closet or prune the fruit of themselves from a larger vine. We have gone through this cycle before with various power plays – poverty, slavery, women, doctrine, culture, tradition, etc.
A Malvina Reynolds song, Magic Penny, with these lyrics, "Love is something if you give it away, you end up having more" brings us a new look at this passage. Imagine if it is love that is pruned in order to have more love (what does this do to the image of burning up branches?). Imagine if we waited for the fruit of love we have trusted to grow into the action of belief (what does this do to the image of a parochial glory?).