Vine & Branches

Vine & BranchesLong time Eden Prairie resident Barbara Kaewer had traveled the world with her husband, a botanist for Northrup King, and over the years had amassed an extensive art collection which filled her home of 65 years. This past winter Barbara, now in her 90’s, had to make the move from her home to a facility which could provide her with some basic care. Still as sharp as ever, Barbara generously gave away her art collection to museums and universities. However, there was one piece she wanted to see go to a local church, a large, black, 300 pound rectangle of cast iron had hung in her front hall, decorated with a grape vine and branch motif. For Barbara, every time she looked at this substantial piece of iron she was reminded of Jesus words from John 15. “I am the vine, and you are the branches, if you abide in me, and I in you, you will bear much fruit.” It seemed only fitting that this should hang in some church to remind the people of that congregation of their vital connection to Christ.

And so, this 300 pound piece of iron art, fashioned in Germany some 400 years ago, was given to Immanuel and now hangs in our Narthex to remind us that we are the branches that produce good fruit as we are connected to Christ. But there is something more to this as well. The purpose for this 300 pound piece of iron was to be set in the back of a fire place in a castle room. As the fire burned during the day, the iron would be heated. Then, at night, when the fire burned low, the iron would radiate that stored heat to warm the house.

In the same way we, God’s people, come together to be filled with the warmth and light of God’s love. Then, when we go out into the world, we radiate that warmth and light to the world, which is a wonderful image of our vision: Called to care. Sent to serve.


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A member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America