"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
In this Vine Cross, we can see fruit within each of the cross arm's fleur-de-lis
(Click photo to enlarge)
The Vine Cross is known in heraldry as a Foliated Cross or erroneously, an Ivy Cross. Curiously, it is not a common Christian symbol. We feel it should be seen more, and here's why:
In John 15:1-3, Jesus calls himself the vine, and that Christians are the branches of that vine. Even those of us without 'green fingers' know that it's the branches that bear fruit. Jesus (the vine) mediates between God and man.
And we also know that fruit will grow if, and only if, the vine has roots which can deliver moisture from a rich soil. In our analogy, the root of the vine resembles the Holy Spirit. The root is unseen, but we know it's there because the plant flourishes and bears fruit.
This contemporary design adds further meaning with each cross arm terminating in a nail head, reminding us of the Crucifixion, complementing Jesus's statement "I am the true vine"
(Click photo to enlarge)
If we imagine God having a gardening role, nourishing the vine, then if a branch bears no fruit (if we have not loved as we should), the gardener cuts it away. It is good for nothing and damned to be consumed by the bonfire. However, if the branch bears fruit then the gardener is pleased. The fruit is harvested and as a result, the branch is in a stronger state to produce yet more fruit.
There are many of us human branches yet we all share the same vine and the same root. The branches travel in different directions; some have high positions, some low. Some are old branches and some are young. Some grow in the sunshine, overlooking the beautiful garden and others find themselves in the shade, facing the compost heap. Yet we all share the same vine and the same root. And the same Gardener tends to each branch with the same love, knowing that branches can be weak. God loves us all, whatever our position may be.
And the grapes? These are the products of our Christianity; whatever God has called us to produce.