This is the perfect devotional for you if you love gardening or for the gardener in your life. In this companion book of reflections drawn from Beth Moore’s wondrous book Chasing Vines, Moore digs into the metaphor of God as a gardener, specifically a viticulturist or grower of grapes, a metaphor that weaves through Scripture like a vine. In the introduction, Moore says she’s “been enamored with Christ’s teaching on the vine and the branches since I cut my teeth on Bible study.” Her love for this teaching shines as she takes the reader through 38 words that are germane to growing grapes and tending souls.
She introduces the reader to some obscure yet luminous words such as “terroir,” meaning “sense of place.” “It captures the sense of interplay between factors such as soil, climate, the plant itself and its orientation towards the sun.” Our primary terroir as Christ followers is Christ himself.
Other words explored include:
- Symbiosis: “You are a planting of the Lord, and your soil is a blend of elements he is using to grow you in symbiotic cooperation with the absolute necessities of sun and rain.”
- Root: “There’s no bearing fruit upward without first taking root downward.”
- Humus: “We’re plantings of the Lord,” she says, in soil—humus—teeming with the good and the bad. But are we willing “to expose our tender roots to the odd concoction of life and death that makes us grow?”
- Rocks: “If the grape plant’s sunshiny field is not rocky enough, she’ll be all showy, with lush green leaves, but bear little fruit.”
- Branch: “The job of the branch is to abide. Fruit is assured to every branch that fulfills its singular task: abide in the Vine. ‘Easy,’ we say, and we then spend a lifetime relapsing into autonomy and then repenting and relearning what it means to abide.”
Every devotional explores a word, embedding it in its scriptural context and offering a creative and soulful reflection. Watercolor illustrations and photos of vineyards and bees, trowels and trellises, enhance Moore’s teachings. Each reading points to fruitfulness and flourishing as a goal, as readers go deep into the meaning of one of Jesus’s final exhortations to his disciples to “be immensely fruitful” (John 15:5-8). (Tyndale)