“Abide in my love…”

jos“Abide in my love…[so] that your joy may be complete.” –John 15:9, 11

Do you ever have those moments when something beyond you sweeps you up, even if for a brief moment, in a sense of awe and wonder? I had one of those today when I dragged myself away from the satisfaction of cleaning out my email inbox and checking things off my task list in order to go outside for a brief walk. When I walked the Fourth Ward Park right down the street, the Spirit asked me, “Why don’t you come here every day?” Taking the ten minutes to go down to the garden just might be a way for me to take Jesus up on the invitation issued last Sunday and this one to abide in Jesus and his love.

God gives us countless opportunities to abide in this love. But it’s up to us to recognize these opportunities and say “yes” to them. For me this means pulling away from my computer screen to catch a glimpse of the sky, a centering prayer practice that helps my ego recede and God’s presence be magnified in my mind, and reflecting daily on God has shown up through particular people and experiences.

Our life together at St. Peter’s is like a laboratory for experimenting with how to abide in God’s love. Last Sunday I saw people abiding in God’s love as they took the risk of discussing how their financial and spiritual values do and don’t connect in our Parish Hall Forum; I saw it when two people living with cancer shared conversation about how they are learning to “cast out fear”; I saw it in the faces of the children robed in white coming forward for their Solemn Communion after their spiritual retreat on Saturday.

In the week ahead, I wonder how you might make yourself available to abide in God’s love. And I wonder how your experiences and relationships at St. Peter’s nourish your sense of God’s ongoing presence. I will pray God’s blessing on your abiding and your joy.

–The Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer, Associate Rector