Thursday, May 7, 2015

living in Jesus love John 15:9-19

Over the past couple month's I've been reminded once again life's fragility. It's been a blessing to hear again the great promise Jesus offers believers in John 15: believers can abide in him. This promise comes from Jesus in John 15:9-19. John writes of a great teaching moment when Jesus explained so much to his friends of how his kingdom really works. Jesus Last Supper had ended. The betrayer headed out to find the temple guards to would come to arrest him. And in the time at the table that remained Jesus shared a vision of how his followers would live. There's so much packed in Jesus' word in John 13:31-17:25. In this night Jesus taught them about his kingdom and prayed for them. He laid out a vision of his friends living on earth while remaining connected to him and his kingdom. It was in the middle of this night that Jesus told his friends,

καγὼ ὑμα̂ς ἠγάπησα· μείνατε ἐν τῃ̂ ἀγάπῃ τῃ̂ ἐμῃ̂
and I you love stay in this love this of mine John 15:9
I love you now abide in this love of mine. What a promise. You are loved. Stay in this love and you will find life. It's life here and it's life after this world is no longer your home.

The word that catches my eye is μείνατε abide, stay, remain. It's such a great invitation, stay in my love, abide in my love,remain in my love. In all circumstances each believer has a place to be--it's in God's love. This probably looks unwise to people who only see this world and think this is it. This is all there really is. It's easy to think of buildings as places to stay but the love of the God you just can't see that seems way to flimsy to rely on--except to the eyes of faith. Jesus isn't offering his friends a permanent house on this earth built of wood and stone--no he's offering his friends a connection with God today and a place in the very heart of God for all time. That's where believers are invited to abide--to live--in God's love. Believers hear this promise of a living place in the middle of this life with all it's limits and struggles. This is good news for us still. Jesus' friends have a place to be that can't ever be taken away.

In the past 5 days I attended 2 funerals and officiated at 2 others. It's been one of those stretches in time where it's clear that abiding in Jesus is a matter of death and life. Abiding in Jesus means having a place today and a place for every tomorrow that doesn't lose value and can't be taken away. Abiding, living in Jesus means lives matter both today and for every tomorrow to come to God. Knowing a future home allows believers to bear fruit today in this world. Jesus made it clear--abiding in his love isn't only about this world. He's just as interested in us abiding in his love for all time to come.
Peace to you and thanks for reading, John