Wine and bread were staples of life during the days of the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, when Jesus spoke about, or had anything to do with, grapes, vines, or fruit, the people knew exactly what he was talking about. Do you?
In this lesson of The Family Bible Journaling Project, the terms “vine,” “vineyard,” “branches,” and “fruit” are explored. Keep this question in mind: How does the Lord use these metaphors to explain the gospel throughout the Old and New Testaments?
If you are new to this Bible Lesson Series, be sure to read the introduction to answer any questions you might have. Because this is a family activity, gather in an area which allows for you to “circle up” and see each other. We sat at the kitchen table.
Be sure to pray as a group before beginning.
Materials: grapes, or a grapevine (we grow grapes, so we walked outside for a few minutes); pictures such as the ones below from HolyLandPhotos.com
Time: 20-30 minutes
Background: (for older children or adults) In biblical times, people would build terraced walls in order to create a vineyard. It was tough work. Stones had to be cleared. The stones that were removed became hedges and watchtowers. Proven vine cuttings needed to be used and eventually pruned. The cloisters of grapes would need to be supported so they did not rot, or get eaten by small animals. The weeds has to be hoed. Once the fruit was produced and harvested, some grapes were left out to dry to turn into raisins, while other fruit was taken to the wine vat.
Brainstorm: Look at the grapes. Discuss what a grape vine looks like and how it grows. See how many stories from the Old Testament you can list that involve grapes, vines, or wine vats. (For example: Gideon and the wine vat, The 12 spies and the huge cluster of grapes, King Ahab wanting to buy an off-limits vineyard.)
Scripture: Read John 15:1-11.
Think: What does Jesus call himself? What does he call God? How do you think Jesus is like a vine? If Jesus is the vine, who are we? What do the branches do? What happens if they don’t? How are the branches “with” the vine? (They are connected; the vine leads the branches.) How are we to be with Jesus? (We are to be connected; Jesus is to lead us.) What does “abide” mean? (connected to; to accept and follow the rules of)
Journal: Take 10-15 minutes of quiet time to write out thoughts. Younger children can draw pictures, while older children can write and doodle. Allow for an atmosphere of prayer. When younger children are finished, ask them to tell you about what they put in their journals. You might want to write down their thoughts.
Our Examples of Bible Journaling:
RB drew God pruning the vines with the branches falling to the ground. He was upset when he realized he had forgotten the fruit which started a discussion on when pruning takes place, before or after the fruit. (Which do you think it is?)
Take It Deeper: (for older children and adults) Read Isaiah 5:1-6. What do these scriptures add to your previous thoughts? Who is the vineyard in these passages?
I’d love to see examples of your journal entries! If you email your entries to me I’ll be sure to share them with others to encourage them in their own journaling activity! Everyone has different gifts, and I’m not much of an artist, but I know your journals will be brilliant!
Send your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org.