Abide.  It conjures images of sitting and resting.  For some reason, I think of running water and vegetation and maybe sitting in the shade of a tree.  For others, the word brings different images.  Yet, peace and serenity are surely part of all the images, as are security and safety. 

Jesus commands us, in John 15, to abide in him.  He compares us to branches coming from a vine.  We are to be people connected to the depth that without the Vine we wither and die.  Again and again he urges us.  Abide.  Remain in my love. 

In America today, we are so poor at abiding.

We are conscious of producing and we are busy and stressed.  We move from task to task.  We see our day not as a journey with Jesus but as a set of problems to be solved.  What if we became people who abided?  It would start small at first — and it has for many of us — and we would encounter moments of abiding in God’s love.  And what if these moments strung together and became hours?  How would we be changed? 

Jesus said if we obey his commands we will remain in his love.  And in verse seventeen of the fifteenth chapter of John, he gives us his command: Love each other.  He seems to propogate this idea that we must abide in God’s love to show love to others; yet we also must love others to abide in God’s love.  It is a circuit and we give and receive the more we…give and receive. 

May we, this week, be people who abide.