Bringing the Text to Life

Canopy Management John 15:1-8

Canopy Management

For an alternate approach pertaining to Acts 8:26-40, see Neo Jesus.

Grapevines are unruly beasts. They prefer to grow and keep growing, sprouting a canopy made of leaves and shoots and grape clusters. They need to be managed well, just like the branches of the “true vine,” Jesus Christ.

When Bob and Patty Brower traveled in France in the ’70s, they fell in love with two things: the wineries and the French Country chateaus.

They came home and packed up their belongings on the East Coast and headed for California, looking for a spot to start a winery of their own. They settled on 16 acres tucked away in the hills of Monterey County. They built an estate building, Chateau Julien, modeled after an actual chateau on the Swiss/French border. In 1982 they started making wine. Today they have more than 240 acres of grapes.

But there have been problems. If you want to go broke fast, go into the wine business. Yet finances are not the only challenge facing a winemaker. Of the many issues that must be addressed in making good wine, one that is frequently overlooked is canopy management.

The topic is germane to any discussion of John 15:1-8. Jesus said, “He [the Gardener] cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes” (John 15:2 ...

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