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August 18th Devotional

“I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Jesus’ discourse in John 15 is one of my comfort passages. The chapters from 14-16 are words offered to the disciples following Judas leaving the Last Supper and prior to the Garden of Gethsemane. They are words given to comfort loved ones about to face certain traumatic times. In very poetic speech Jesus very simply lets the disciples know: You are not alone. You are loved. You have what you need.

Such assurances are part of our living when we abide in Jesus. I’m particularly fond of this part of the passage because of Jesus’ use of the word abide. Many times, we seek assurances from what we believe. Our belief is important but is mostly a cognitive act. The word abide carries a sense of being and of dwelling; existing with and within. When we exist and dwell with Jesus we are inextricably joined to God. Our entire being is involved not just our thinking. We abide in a presence which cannot be removed or taken from us. It is the very place we live.

Our “fruit bearing” comes from the awareness of all of life occurring in God’s Holy Presence. Oft we may be tempted to interpret “bear” as “produce”. Modern life carries the strong message that our value in life comes from what we “produce or do.” Here, we are given the grace-filled message that the value of life is not found in what we produce or accomplish but is found simply because God values us. This is the very place Jesus invites us to abide. A place where we learn we are not alone, we are loved and we have what we need.

Faithfully Yours,

Rev. Wendy

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