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The Vine

The fifth in a series considering the I am statements of Jesus

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri) - Church Schools

Aims

To consider Jesus’ claim that he is the vine.

Preparation and materials

Assembly

  1. Show the image of a vineyard.

    Ask the children to suggest what is growing in the picture. (Answer: grapes)

    Look at the way the grapes are grown in long lines. Are the grapes grown in hot countries or cold countries? What clues are there in the photograph to help us answer this question?

  2. Show the image of bunches of grapes.

    Ask the children where else they might see grapes growing. (Possible answer: in a greenhouse)

    How do we use grapes? (Possible answers: To eat as a snack or in a pudding, or to drink as grape juice or wine)

    Optional: you may wish to show the children a bunch of grapes and/or a bottle of wine or grape juice.

  3. Ask the following questions to find out how much the children know about grapes. (You may like to give out grapes as prizes!)

    - Name three colours of grapes. (Possible answers: white (actually green), red, black, dark-blue, yellow, orange and pink)
    - What do we call a place where grapes are cultivated? (Answer: a vineyard)
    - What do we call the study of grapes and grape cultivation: grapeology, vineculture or viticulture? (Answer: viticulture)
    - Which three European countries are the largest wine producers? (Answer: Italy, Spain and France)
    - What are dried grapes called? (Answer: raisins and sultanas)

  4. Show the diagram showing the parts of a vine plant.

    This is how a vine is trained to grow. Identify that the clusters of grapes come from each individual branch.

    One of the statements that Jesus made about himself was, ‘I am the true vine and you are the branches.’

    Perhaps he was strolling through a vineyard at the time and wanted to give his disciples a visual aid that they would remember.

    Perhaps he pointed to the well-established vine plant: its trunk, all the branches growing horizontally and all the lovely, juicy grapes. Perhaps he and his disciples even picked some grapes and ate them.

    ‘What would happen if I removed this branch from the vine and laid it down on the ground?’ he may have asked.

    How would the disciples have answered?

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Explain that the branch would wither, dry up and die. The branch needs to stay connected to the vine if it is going to produce any fruit. The branch gets all its sustenance from the vine.

  5. Just like the juicy grapes on this vine, Jesus wanted the disciples to produce good fruit.

    Ask the children what kind of fruit Jesus could have been speaking about.

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Explain that Jesus didn’t mean that we should produce apples or oranges! Rather, he meant that our lives should show good characteristics and qualities.

  6. The Bible tells us that the fruit would be like this . . .

    Ask the children to hold up the nine cards with the words ‘Love’, ‘Joy’, ‘Peace’, ‘Patience’, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness’, Gentleness and Self-control written on them.

    Optional: the children who are chosen to hold up the cards could be those who have shown these particular qualities in school, and the assembly could therefore be a celebration of this.

    These ‘fruits’ often pop up in school. Ask the children to look out for them today.

Time for reflection

Imagine what our homes would be like if we were producing these fruits.

Imagine what our school would be like if we were producing these fruits.

Imagine what our community, our town/city and our nation would be like if we were producing these fruits.

Prayer
Dear God,
We thank you for lovely, juicy grapes.
Please help us to grow the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control within us.
Amen.

Publication date: September 2017   (Vol.19 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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