Week 5 Day 6: Abiding in Love

“Abide in me as I abide in you.”
John 15:4

Abiding in Love
So there’s a little paradox here: On the one hand, we can’t be separated from the love of God in Christ, but on the other hand we can be more intentional about abiding in this love as a conscious choice.

-Br. Mark Brown



Transcript:

Our theme for today is “abiding in love.” From the Gospel of John: “Abide in me as I 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.” That word ‘abide,’ it could also be ‘remain.’ Remain in me – and there’s something about that word, remaining, that suggests something intentional, something even persistent. Yes, we are in Christ and Christ is in us regardless, but by telling us to ‘abide’ or to ‘remain,’ Christ invites us to embrace that in a more intentional way as a voluntary choice. So there’s a little paradox here. On the one hand, we can’t be separated from the love of God and Christ, as Paul put it in the letter to the Romans, but we can be more intentional about dwelling, remaining, persisting in this love as a conscious choice, abiding in this love, remaining in this love. So if I were praying with this, I might reflect on making the decision in a conscious, deliberate, intentional way to abide in Christ and in God’s love, as Christ and God’s love abide in me, of my own free will. Perhaps the Spirit is inviting you to make that decision here and now.

We invite you to share your reflection here >

16 Comments

  1. David John Drew on 03/18/2018 at 9:31 am

    O God,

    As I contemplate John’s words I begin to realize that you are my one true home – you are the Life itself, there is none other. All the ways I have tried to separate myself from you – either purposefully and subconsciously… they bubble up, all the anger, frustrations, and resentment, – they all slowly arise, bitter thoughts swirling around… they all seem to dissipate the more that I rest in your presence, your unconditional love for me. And I experience your forgiveness – you know all my faults and imperfections, yet I present them to you, and you accept me for who I am regardless… you wipe them away. You wipe away my tears with the tender affection of a devoted mother. I feel that I have broken through the terrible and dark fear that I experienced in trying to comprehend you… and I see your bright shining face, a welcome that is sweet and light. I know that whatever worries, problems or cares that come to me – I can give them to you – and you unravel the knots of my mind and present me with peace, tranquility and balance. Nothing can compare to your all-pervading, fragrant, consuming passion and presence.

    Lord God,

    In this week as we all celebrate both the Spring Equinox and the life and testimony of your devoted servant Saint Patrick, I meditate on how you fill all the chapters of my life – every day a new revelation as I said to Laura today – openings, experiences and new ways of seeing and understanding. I am reminded of the prayer of Saint Patrick, though I cannot recall the exact words;

    I arise this day
    In the Life of…
    Christ of Life
    Christ of my head
    Christ of my feet
    Christ of my left
    Christ of my right
    Christ before and behind
    Christ of my heart
    Of my mind, and tongue
    Christ, you infuse, saturate –
    All that I was, am, and will be…
    Christ of Beginning
    Christ of the end
    And beyond
    Eternal Divine Presence
    Three in One
    Father, Son & Spirit
    Christ of day
    Christ of night
    Sunrise and sunset
    Christ of expanding
    Christ of incorporating
    Christ of Life…

    Maranatha!

    + Amen

    Pax – David



  2. John Mendham. on 03/18/2018 at 5:36 am

    This week is about relationship with God. I feel that the intent of developing this relationship is not so much to receive comfort for ourselves (although we can all use that at times) but rather to be empowered to do good works.
    The Bible for me is a human creation, much of it written by people who were close to God, but within it are flaws. The analogy that we are forever children is unfortunate. I do not think we should think of ourselves as dependent children, but rather as adults, seeking the strength to stand on our own two feet as much as we can.
    We have free will and decisions are ultimately ours. May we lean to listen to God’s guidance and make wise choices.



  3. Mary Fisher on 03/18/2018 at 1:16 am

    Praise The Lord for these amazing Lenten messages.My heart is warmed ,encouraged and challenged.I have been having that call at all levels recently and thank you so much for being The Lord’s means of reinforcing the depth of that need to be totally in Jesus.I know it’s no coincideace that I have just been asked to preach on this very passage soon after Easter,
    With love and gratitude in Christ,
    Mary



  4. Damon D. Hickey on 03/17/2018 at 7:53 am

    “Abide in me as I in you.” The brothers are interpreting “abide” to mean remain, don’t run away. But it also means dwell or live, as in “abode,” where you live or reside. That’s a spatial, not a temporal, concept. So, “Live in me as I in you.” Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus, because God in Christ lives in us. But do I live in him? That’s what he’s inviting me to do. How? By returning his gift of love, as friends and lovers do. And if I love him, I’ll want to be near him, know what he’s doing, please him—just as he wants to be and is near me, know what I’m doing, and please me. God wants to please me?



  5. Betty on 03/16/2018 at 9:09 pm

    Abide is such a beautiful word..brings to mind words like comfort, rest, live. Such a thought..abiding with the Lord, in His arms..being comforted by Him, resting in Him, living with a Him forever.



  6. James on 03/16/2018 at 8:47 pm

    As professed Christians, what if we don’t abide in God as He abides in us? Will God still abide in us? God does say He will never leave or forsake us. “Deuteronomy 31:8”. But what if intentionally renounce Him? Once we ask God into our lives I’d like to think He will abide with us forever regardless of our behavior. I can’t imagine having the ability to to push God out and tell Him to leave and that He would obey my wishes. His love is too strong and it endures forever. Have a blessed weekend!



  7. Victoria on 03/16/2018 at 8:14 pm

    This is all I can say in response…Thank you Lord for leading me here for these Lenten reflection. Further to that, It’s no coincidence that I have been listening to this song before I started the session this morning. Listen if you get a chance.
    https://youtu.be/zEL4Oqfcgn8 ‘This Love’ Housefires



    • Suzanne Haraburd on 03/17/2018 at 2:39 am

      Victoria, Thanks so much for the song, “This Love.”. It is just what I needed today.



  8. Rhode on 03/16/2018 at 6:40 pm

    After 26 years of marriage I am still learning that love and desire are wonderful gifts but without full commitment and daily intention and attention! to honor the sacredness of my marriage it could fall apart. I cannot and would not force my husband to love only me but we gave each other the promise to abide within our marriage. Our love fuels our committment. Abiding in Christ is to live into and grow within an eternal sacred relationship whose love deepens and grows in richness of nuance much like and perhaps even better than a great marriage. Staying committed to our intentions and giving God the love and attention He deserves reaps spiritual benefits. And, God gives us is His promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us.



    • Jennifer on 03/17/2018 at 7:15 pm

      your comment reminds me of the verses in Ephesians 5 that references how our relationship as part of His church with Christ is similar to marriage….”.25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.”



  9. Rhondda M on 03/16/2018 at 5:30 pm

    Thanks for the reminder that intention is key to remaining connected to God.



  10. Bryan Cook on 03/16/2018 at 5:18 pm

    Agatha gave me the key “conscious decision to intentionally abide in Christ in a deliberate way”. That conscious decision can have so many good consequences: “so that I may help others”, “so that I can see my weaknesses and do something about them”, “so that I may be comforted”….the list is infinite. To “dwell in”, I have to unlatch and enter a door. It lifts me from a state of quiet acceptance that the Holy Spirit is aways with and in me to a state of action…..another prodding!



  11. Jane Fraleigh on 03/16/2018 at 4:58 pm

    Today I’m going to practice being more intentional about abiding in God!



  12. John David Spangler on 03/16/2018 at 4:51 pm

    From Archbishop Temple’s “Redaing In St. John’s Gospel”: “‘Abide in me, and I in you.’ The whole phrase has an imperative tone: let there be mutual indwelling. Of course the command is to the disciples, not to the Lord. ‘Abide in me’, of which the consequence will be that I shall abide in you; yet the two are not presented as occasion and consequence, but as a two-fold condition whch are bidden to bring into existence.
    “All forms of Christian worship, all forms of Christian discipline, have this as their object. Whatever leads to this is good; whatever hinders this is bad; whatever does not bear on this is futile. This is the life of the Christian: ‘Abide in me and I in you’. All truth and depth of devotion, all effectiveness in service spring from this. It is not a theme for words but for the deeper apprehensions of silence: “Abide in me and I in you.'”
    As Keith wrote, we are indeed so privileged that God is with us. He has assured us that He will remain with us. Let us strive to remain wth Him and to bring the fact that He is abiding in us into existence so that the world may know.



  13. Agatha Nolen on 03/16/2018 at 4:12 pm

    Br. Mark Brown talks about how “abiding” means also “to remain”. He asks if the Spirit is inviting us to the make a conscious decision to intentionally abide in Christ in a deliberate way.

    When I substitute the words in today’s Scripture verse, John 15:4 becomes: “Remain in me as I remain in you.”

    This helps me to remember that Christ’s love for me never waxes and wanes, but is a constant, ever-shining beacon of light that is always within me. If I am constantly overflowing with Christ’s love, I should have more than enough to share with others.

    Making a home for God means letting him crowd out everything else and settle in.



  14. Keith Aldred on 03/16/2018 at 3:00 pm

    We are so privileged to know that God is with us always. May we remain with Him.