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40 Days of Prayer – Day 2: Gathered in Christ

As One Who Abides

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unlessyou abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5 NRSV)

Jesus promises us that if we live in Love we will abide in him, and he in us, and his joy will be complete within us. We are called to this Love, made for it. Yet how many of us succeed in living out Jesus’ simple yet profound command to love one another? Since all of us fall short, how then, are we to abide in him?

Jesus also promises, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). We do not abide by our own wisdom and power (John 6:44a), but through the love and power of God. We open to this power by asking, by seeking. We abide, not by trusting in our own righteousness, but in recognizing our need for God’s help and constantly seeking to follow God’s will.

It is this attitude of seeking—rather than presuming we already know the way—which brings us humbly into God’s care, outstripping our feeble understanding and limited power, filling us with God’s grace. It is through humbly seeking that we are found, we abide in him and he in us, and our identity as but a branch attached to the true Vine is realized. And his joy in us is complete.

Christopher Sammond

Query for Reflection

What in my life needs to be pruned in order to abide (stay, remain, continue) more fully in the love of Christ?

Action Step

Share with a member of your meeting what you feel God is calling you to prune from your life so that you may bear more fruit.

Prayer Focus

Dear Jesus, Draw me into your love, abide in me, and help me abide in you.

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  • Dale Graves

    Thanks, Christopher, for this. I shall, today, remember to ‘abide.’ I’m thinking of Thomas Kelley and his encouragement that is it possible to abide in the Spirit of Christ and do all the thing I must do this day.

    I also took time this morning to read the introductions by Colin and Kelly. Outstanding!

  • Colin Saxton

    During my last year in seminary, I worked for a Quaker farmer in Virginia. He gave me the task of pruning his table grape vineyard. Though I grew up on a farm, grapes were new to me. I assumed, as we walked out among the vines, I’d be doing a bit of trimming on the overgrown plants. My boss surprised me, however, by going way into the middle of the vine…and cutting just past the first new bud or two. At first I thought he was kidding…but he just kept at it…trimming away yards of seemingly healthy plant life. When he turned the job over to me, a mountain of cuttings was already beginning to form. Did he know, I wondered, what on earth he was doing?

    As it turned out, his eye was not on the size of the plant but on how fruitful it would become. At the end of the harvest season, he wisdom proved true…resulting in the best yield he had ever gotten from that field of grapes.

    Though the pruning seemed so severe at the time, it produced a great good. I think about this every time I read this passage of scripture and am mindful of it, again, today. How much, O Lord, still needs pruning?!?