Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. – John 15:4

I often liken the spiritual life to a journey. As one who enjoys hiking and exploring, I naturally think of my relationship with God in terms of action and motion. I am comfortable with terminology such as walking with God, running the race, fighting the good fight, and seeking the kingdom.

However, in this morning’s reading from the gospel of John, Jesus calls us to simply abide in him. In the midst of the busyness of life, we often forget to abide; we often forget to rest in the presence of our Lord and Friend. The branch bears fruit simply by abiding in the Vine. Just as the Son abides in the perfect love of his Father, so we are called to abide in the perfect love of the Son. Jesus reminds us that he issues this command to abide in his love, so that his joy will be complete in us, which echoes the words of the psalmist who reminds us that in God’s presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).

In the midst of the furor of spiritual activity that often demands our attention and inner resources, Jesus calls us to abide, to dwell in his presence. It is in this secret place that we are renewed and strengthened; we receive the spiritual nutrients we need from the Vine in which we dwell.

So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love,
and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.
1 John 4:16

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