Scripture: John 15: 1-11
Key verses: (9-11) 9 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10 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. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
Reflection: It has been a few days since our team returned from Cuba and our high school mission team contacts each other several times a day. The only way we can describe this feeling is that our hearts are full. Our hearts were stretched and we were offered an abundance of God’s love.
Jesus calls for his disciples to abide in his love. Abide is like being wrapped up in someone’s arms with loyalty and contentment. It is living life. Live your life in the love of Jesus. It sounds easy enough, but is love like the feeling we have coming home from a mountaintop experience that slowly fades? Jesus remained in the Father’s love by keeping his Father’s commandments. In the same way, we abide in love by following Jesus.
Loving Jesus is not a feeling but is a call to faithfulness and obedience. We cannot say that we have love but not keep the commandments. It is a way of life. It is what fill’s our heart and brings full lasting joy. In Cuba, they do not have a lot of stuff. The stuff that we think fill our lives with joy, the stuff we abide in daily. Their meals are the same every day, their routines are simple and they offer anything they have to their brothers and sisters in Christ. Life is not perfect. Our Cuban partners experience pain, despair and frustration. As we lived with the members of our partner church in Remedios, we saw all of this as they invited us to abide with them in Christ’s love. Together, we experienced the joy that fills life when we abide in the love of Jesus.
Prayer: Guide us, O God, as we seek to follow your son in obedience and love. We rest in your love. We breathe in love. We breathe in peace. Send us out today to live in your love. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].