Sunday’s Reflection: Abide in my love. In today’s gospel, these verses are a continuation of the idea of ‘abiding in Jesus’ which we have read in verses 1 to 8. The passage indicates the idea that “everything begins with the Father in verse 9.” It also continues that imagery of ‘bearing fruit, fruit that will last’ in John 15:16.
There are a number of similar themes in the Gospel of John and 1 John 5:1-6. It echoes the theme: obeying God’s commandments and loving God’s children. Following Jesus makes a difference in who we are and how we live. It is a life born out of our faith in Christ Jesus. It brings us the assurance of the love of our God who has walked with us, who understands what it is like to suffer, who has shared with us in the very depths of the pain that living can bring. It transforms how we understand and engage all of life, joys, pains, and sorrows. We show our love for God by keeping God’s commandment to love others. — “12 ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
This is also a deep, abiding relationship, not one casually entered and easily discarded. This is a relationship rooted in loving one another, love that extends itself for others. Love that bears lasting fruit.
The emphasis is love. Love begins with the Father and flows through the Son to the disciples. It is contingent on obedience— “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” (v. 10) And this relationship is for us!
God’s mission is done by people distinguished by a powerful characteristic—they have given God their heart. That should encourage us. If we are to produce fruit for Christ, it is important that we seek his will for our lives—to let him lead our ways. How is our joy complete when we live abiding in Christ’s love? What does it mean to have Christ’s joy within us?
Prayer: God of abiding love, you dare to call us friends. Take our fragmented hearts, command them to love, and make whole our joy, which is our life, reborn in Jesus Christ, who laid down his life for us. Amen. Prayers for an Inclusive Church (2009) alt. Resources are from the Anglican Church of Canada and Sermons that Work.