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Thursday, 15 March 2018

"The Word of God... Abides in You."


I ask for the grace to pray and meditate faithfully. I ask for patience, tolerance, empathy, and compassion. I ask to abstain from anger, anxiety, compulsive behaviour, discouragement, and self-importance. I ask to know and follow Jesus more closely, seeking justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly.

1 John 2:12-17
12 I am writing to you, little children,
   because your sins are forgiven on account of his name.
13 I am writing to you, fathers,
   because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young people,
   because you have conquered the evil one.
14 I write to you, children,
   because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
   because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young people,
   because you are strong
   and the word of God abides in you,
     and you have overcome the evil one.
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; 16for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live for ever.

1) "...your sins are forgiven;" "...from the beginning;" "... the world and its desire are passing away;" "...do the will of God;" "...live for ever;" "...the word of God abides in you;"

2) I'm not sure what to do with this passage. If feels a little "works righteousness" with "because you have conquered the evil one." And I'm not sure how literally it takes "the things in the world." Certainly, all things in our world are passing away. But this passage seems to abandon being in the world; does it deny the incarnation? It seems very Greek in its dualism. I appreciate the call to doing the will of God. "The word of God abides in you," but the implication is that the word of God abides in you because "you have conquered the evil one," because "you know him who is from the beginning," because you "do not love the world or the things of the world;" and that would be a very strong works righteousness. Or is it because God abides in you... you are then able to do these other things. The language, translated here, isn't clear. The passage does begin with "because your sins are forgiven on account of his name" not because of anything you have done. When are we aware that the word of God is abiding in us? I did some beautiful visits yesterday. I meditate. I play with watercolour. We celebrate lives well lived. We feed, clothe, and shelter so many people here at Trinity, all the time.

3) What is the invitation in all this? To let God's word abide in us. It abides in us whether we bid it or not, but we do choose whether we live as though God's word abides in us. "Do the will of God."

"Holy One, abide in us. Guide us to do your will."

Breathprayer: "The word of God... abides in you."


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