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Sermon for Thursday after Easter 5A – Br. David Allen

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Jn 15:9-11

Today’s Gospel Reading comes immediately after Jesus’ parable of the Vine and the Branches.  The meaning of the parable carries forward wherever the word “abide” appears.

If we read through the 3 verses of our Gospel we can see how each verse builds on the one before.  (Jn 15:9-11)

“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.” (v,9)

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments andabide in his love.” (v.10)

Jesus adds one further expansion to this, saying, “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and thatyour joy may be complete.” (v.11)

The word “abide” means to “dwell”, to sojourn, or to wait patiently. Jesus is telling us that when we accept his love, and that of God the Father, we are living clothed in love, surrounded by the Spirit of God’s love. As the branches draw life from the vine we draw life and love from God’s love.

In this Gospel Reading Jesus tells us,  “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love.” In these words he shows us how to abide in his love.  It is by keeping his commandments.  If you ask, “Which Commandment?” the answer is given in the next sentence, just beyond the end of today’s Gospel reading; “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (v.12)

Keeping the commandment means obeying the commandment. In loving God and loving one another our obedience rounds out the full meaning of the word love. We do this in loving relationship with one another within the whole body of Christ.

True obedience includes “listening to” and “being attentive to” the needs and desires both of those who are loved and the one to whom obedience is given.

If you have ever been in love, or experienced love, I think you can begin to see how each of us as we try to do our part to abide in God’s love can find our joy becoming complete.  Isn’t that what Jesus meant?

 

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4 Comments

  1. Rhode on May 2, 2018 at 09:52

    Wow, timely message. Our Bishop, Laura Ahern, was with us our church this past Sunday. Instead of a sermon she turned the verses about the vine and the branches and the need to abide in God’s love back to the congregation to contemplatively discuss, with the persons next to us about what word spoke to us. Abide was her word as was mine. To live within the arms of, to be rooted to the source, to have the very juice of the Spirit that courses through God running through me is what I felt about abiding. That God even wants me to be so connected is a wonder. But, the words that we can do nothing outside of this connection that is pleasing to God also caused me to re-reflect on “abiding.” To abide also means I am responsible to stay connected and not above being pruned. Obeying the commandments require me to be thoughtful, take right action, responsibility and commitment. That requires strong love and discernment. I do believe wisdom and love is offered to us through the Vine and helps us to want to keep abiding. Thanks for keeping my stream of thoughts moving!

    • SusanMarie on May 2, 2018 at 13:37

      Rhode, your stream of thoughts are beautiful and insightful! A wonderful addition to this sermon. Your words are making my stream of thoughts move! Thank you!

  2. Mino Sullivan on May 2, 2018 at 08:55

    Thank you Brother Allen. I guess the question to continually ask myself is, “How can I be a caring lover in this moment?” Perhaps that is what is meant by “Pray unceasingly.”

  3. SusanMarie on May 2, 2018 at 06:18

    Abide is such a beautiful word. And Jesus tells us he wants us to abide in him so that we may have joy and our joy will be complete. This is not only lovely, but also something I need to live into. Thanks for the reminder.

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