It was Jesus’ final hours, His final meal and His final words to His disciples. Among other things, He said to them, “abide in me.” What do those words mean to you? He went on to say that unless we did “abide in Him,” we can do nothing. I’ve been reflecting on this concept of ‘abiding.” It’s a very relational term, isn’t it? The grapevine, if it is to bear fruit, must be connected to the vine: all of its nutrition, its very life, flows from the branch. For us, we can exist without Jesus, many people do. But only physically. Spiritually, we can’t do anything more than exist. We cannot thrive, we cannot bear fruit. We cannot love sacrificially, unconditionally. We cannot have deep, inexpressible joy. We cannot have peace in the most difficult of circumstances. And so on. We must stay connected to our branch, Jesus. Times of prayer, reading His Word, reflecting upon His blessings: all these keep us connected.
One more thought about abiding. In some ways we are like cordless power tools or electronic devices that are ubiquitous these days: we need to re-charge them or they will lose their power. We cannot go too long without prayer, God’s Word… But having said that, it seems to me we are more like the corded power tools: there simply is no power unless we are connected to Jesus. There is no reason for us to leave Him at home, or leave Him after we have spent some time in prayer. He promises to go with us everywhere, the Psalmist says we cannot go anywhere where He will not also be. Sooo, lets do both, and maybe that’s what Jesus meant when He talked about “abiding” in Him: let’s both spend lots of time alone with Him in prayer, reflection, Bible reading, but lets also take Him with us wherever we go. Let’s consciously invite Him into every moment of each day, and ask Him to sanctify every moment for Him. Then, we will be fruitful, every day, everywhere.