From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 6th Sunday of Easter

Hi everyone,

Today after worship, my son came up to me with a bulletin and asked me what a word means. He was pointing at “abide.” Off the bat I just said “it means living in that place, or being present… like always.” He nodded in understanding and then asked me what a few other words mean (vocabulary isn’t always his strongest suit).

But I kept thinking about that term “abide.” I don’t know if we always understand how strong of a word it is. I mean, yes it does mean living in a place and being present, but it is more like dwelling, being engulfed in that presence, or almost being indistinguishably together. As I was thinking about this word, image that came to my mind were a new couple that just started to live together, or parents having their first child, or even diving strong head first into that new career that you really want to do for the rest of your life. There is a presence, yes, but it is also a commitment to continue, to remain, to endure.

And Jesus promises us that he abides in us. Pretty wild.

Here are the readings for next week:
Acts 10:44-48
Psalm 98
1 John 5:1-6
John 15:9-17

This gospel passage continues on from today’s passage about the vine and abiding and all that. Jesus tries to make clear the gravity of the abiding of God and himself in us, and us in him and God. It’s this joint abiding that informs our community, relationships, and living life in general.

The other readings also touch on this, giving examples of what this sort of thing looks like in the real world: in welcoming of others, in accepting the differences that make us diverse instead of trying to change others to be more like us, and in simply loving our neighbours. These things aren’t always easy, and often we might not even want to try. But it helps to know that we aren’t alone in our efforts. We aren’t alone in our service. We aren’t alone in our community (which I guess is obvious since if we were, it would cease to be a community).

The point is that who we are as people of God is more than just a name, a title, or a label. Rather it’s a reimagining of our very identities, as people infused with God’s love, engulfed in God’s grace, and empowered by God’s strength, allowing us to do much more than we could have dreamed or imagined.

That right there, my friends, is God abiding with us, and us abiding with God.

Thanks be to God. Have a great week, everyone!

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

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