Prayer: Stay with us, Lord, and help us to be connected to you and to others. Amen.
Reading: John 15: 9-17 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: I’ve always been fascinated by the word “abide.” What does it really mean? If you go to the dictionary, the definition says, “to remain; continue; stay.” Remain with me. If you rewrite the beginning of our passage for today, and replace the word “abide” with “remain” it would read:
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; REMAIN in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will REMAIN in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and REMAIN in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
I think we need to take it a step further, though. Doesn’t remaining in God’s love mean being connected to God and being connected to others. For us to feel and show the love that God has for us, we need to be connected to God and then share that love by being connected to others.
Jesus tells us to love one another. We can only do that if we feel God’s love and share it with others. We need to be connected to God and to one another. Then we will truly abide!
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