I often notice the more time I spend with someone, the more connected we feel. We begin to know how someone processes thoughts and the things which make him or her angry. We begin to see what is important to the other. Wendy and I have been together for many years. We often think the same things and will know how the other will react. We are more and more connected the years we spend together. As time goes by, we can sometimes tell how the other feels just by being in the same room, no words needed. We sense the needs of the other simply through presence.
As I read Jesus’ teachings to the disciples, I begin to understand a little more what he may have meant by asking them (and us essentially) to abide in him. This is Holy Week and as we travel this journey, we should begin to get a sense of the struggles and the triumphs of this time. We understand a little more each time we travel this journey. By abiding in Jesus, we get a clearer picture of the true sacrifice he made for us, all in love.
Jesus paints a picture of what he means to abide by comparing this to a vine and branches. If the branch is disconnected from the vine, it withers and loses all nutrients. When it is connected, it has the opportunity to thrive and produce fruit like no other. Fruit is not produced without the vine. So the more connected the branches are to the vine, the more nutrients they receive. They are more stable and filled with good things. The more connected we are to Jesus, the same thing happens. This requires us to abide in him. This means we pay attention. We have to take the time to sense his presence and his guidance. We have to be willing to take the time to study his teachings and then follow them. This is a process which develops over time. Just like a relationship, it takes effort and attention to really, truly abide. Being connected is the key.
As we travel this Holy Week, take the time to become more connected than you have been. Listen to the teachings. Find out how you might become more like the Creator. Follow where God might be leading. It is all part of abiding.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery