day 19: Christ, the True Vine

Readings: Hosea 14, John 15:1-17

Advent day 19: Christ, the True Vine (Hosea 14, John 15) the Sehnsucht Blog

The prophetic book of Hosea is a letter of deep pain - God's heartbreak over the rebellion of His beloved, Israel. And though it was written more than seven centuries before Christ walked on earth, the very last chapter of Hosea gives a glimpse of the salvation God longs to bestow and what it will look like when Israel walks with God again, redeemed:

I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from them. . . . They will blossom like the vine. 
. . . O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like a luxuriant cypress; from Me comes your fruit.
Hosea 14:4, 7b, 8

And to accomplish all this, God sent Christ, the True Vine.

Christ came to heal our apostasy (or as Strong's put it - "backturning" or "faithlessness"). He came to voluntarily offer us love - the greatest life-laying-down love. He came to turn God's wrath away from us and toward Himself. All this, so that we who were just dead branches might be grafted into the only Life-Source, and tended by a Vinedresser who hears and cares for us.

And as though the gift of life alone were not enough, He gives us fruit as well: all our capacity for love and joy is found in Him, because by Him, we have been freely loved.

Hallie Liening

Olympia, WA

Hallie grew up on a small farm in rural eastern Washington. At 18, she moved across the country to go to Bible school, and then married the Boy Next Door at 20. Now 22, she is a graduate of Great Commission Bible Institute with a Certificate in Biblical Studies and resides in Olympia with her husband and her two cats. She survives the claustrophobia of living near the city by making frequent trips back home to visit her family and her horse, writing sentimental blog posts about the countryside, and by filling her house with photographs of Mt. Adams sunsets.