"I am the vine; you are the branches." — John 15:5

Sunday, February 18, 2018 Lent 1

“The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers…”  Matthew 9:37

Recent years have seen the growth of viticulture in Canada.  Well known terroirs, such as the Okanogan, Niagara, and Prince Edward Country have new competition and vineyards are coming into being close to home.   Producing wine is  back breaking, albeit satisfying  work, resulting, in the best case scenarios, with a beverage worthy of the Lord’s Table!  This photo shows The Venerable Mavis Brownlee in her vineyard in Shawville, Quebec,  on a beautiful October day, harvesting grapes at their peak.  Kingdom work is not for slouches either.  Where the seed falls, and how it germinates and grows, the need to prune branches that are unhealthy or not bearing fruit, the complications around the hiring of vineyard workers, all these are stories within scripture and all reflect on church life.  Can you find them?   Look in the Gospels!  The work is challenging but also fulfilling as we respond, each in our own ways, but functioning as a team,  to God’s calling to be Kingdom workers, to God’s glory.  “ I am the true vine…you are the branches.  Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Prayer:  O Lord, please help me to discern how I can serve you, to build up your Body, the Church…and then show me how to put Your will for me into action.  Amen.

Recipe:  Winter Roasted Vegetables A side dish, a main dish served with a good hunk of fresh, grainy bread, a crepe filling, a topping for pasta, or polenta or scrambled eggs or…all measurements are flexible! Can be doubled, tripled…

½  eggplant (cubed, salted and then, in 10 minutes or so, rinsed well)
½ red pepper and/or orange, yellow pepper cut in chunks
1 zucchini, cut in thick coins
1 onion cut in eighths
½ cup wine, if desired

Place chopped vegetables on a roasting pan or sturdy cookie sheet with a little olive oil.  Add pepper, dried herbs such as basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, thyme or a Mediterranean blend.  Toss vegetables in oil and herbs and bake at 350 degrees for  30 minutes, then check. Cooking time will vary according to type of vegetables and amounts used.   If desired, add ½ cup wine, red or white, to the pan, and cook for about 10 minutes or until wine is absorbed.  Other option: a touch of balsamic vinegar; Other vegetables to try: potatoes, white, yellow or sweet; fennel; carrots and parsnips(better parboiled; mushrooms, add halfway through) etc.  Need some protein? Top with a gently fried  or poached egg.