“I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit because you can do nothing without me.” – John 15:5
Before we get started, we are going to play a quick game! I want everyone to stand up, pick a partner, and then stand back-to-back and link arms. Once everyone is linked, I will say, “Go,” and your goal is to try to sit down and stand back up as quickly as you can while keeping your arms linked. (You may need to show them how. Play a few rounds.)
Was that game hard or easy?
It was hard because you had to work together, right? You couldn’t do it by yourself; you needed your partner! Well, today we are going to talk about how much better it is to go through life with God than without Him.
What would happen if, in our next game, I sent only one of you out to play against a whole team of other players? (Take answers.)
Yeah, it probably wouldn’t work out well for us. We are much better together than we are on our own. Each one of you is so special, and that makes this team better! If we only had one of you against everyone else, we wouldn’t be as good as the other team.
Just like we are better together on our sports team, that’s also true about our life with God. Close your eyes and think of a big tree. Picture the trunk, the branches, and all the leaves. Now open your eyes. I bet you pictured all the elements – the trunk, branches, and leaves – connected. Each part of the tree must remain connected to the other, or it will die. If you remove a leaf, it dries up. If you cut off a branch, the wood dies.
Jesus uses the image of a tree to show us how important it is to stay close to Him. He said that if we are connected to Him, we can produce a lot of good things in this world. Apart from Him, we cannot. The tree represents God and His kingdom, and the branches represent us, His children.
So, what does this mean for us? Our goal is to remain a part of the tree, to stay close to God. We can stay close to God by having friends that help us, by going to church, and by praying!
What can you do this week to stay close to God?
“Lord God, how great You are! With You, we can do great things. Please help us to stay close to You. Amen.”