“Abide in You”…”Abide in Him”

EPISTLE | 1 JOHN 2:21-29

21I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and you know that no lie comes from the truth. 22Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23No one who denies the Son has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son has the Father also. 24Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.

26I write these things to you concerning those who would deceive you. 27As for you, the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and so you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, abide in him.

28And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he is revealed we may have confidence and not be put to shame before him at his coming. 29If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who does right has been born of him.

“Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father.” (v.24)

Easter’s glory has a claim on my time, my attention, and my energy. The empty tomb and torn curtain are the visible evidence that my heart and mind are now not my own. My internal space is no longer a place of solitude or loneliness. The tomb stands empty and the Holy of Holies lies open to remind me that my soul is now full, brimming with 1) the Word of God (v.24) and 2) the anointing of God (v.27).

What is more, these are the gifts of God given to unite me to God and his Son through his Spirit. The Word of God (activated and illuminated by the Spirit within) and my baptism into Christ (sealed by the Spirit within) are active, uniting agents. What is more, this is part of the fulfillment of God’s covenant with his people from the beginning of the biblical story: “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jeremiah 31:33, cf. v.27b).

Here’s where this strikes me today: The Word, or Law (Torah means “instruction”), of God has been placed inside me through the power of the Spirit, but how am I giving it space? Am I hosting the Word, creating more and more hospitable space in my heart and mind for the Word to dwell richly in me? I think so, thanks to the work of the Spirit. From Lent until now, the Spirit has been inviting me further and further into the Word, and so I have been inviting the Word more and more into me. John the Pastor heard Jesus’ instructions to “Abide in me as I abide in you” (John 15:4), and after the resurrection, he understands how the Word of God is both instrumental (a means of) and sacramental (the “thin place”) for this mutual abiding.

Holy Spirit,
Giver of Life,
Dwell in me more richly today
so that Your light inside me may illumine more of Your Word.
Help me craft and shape the space inside me,
so that there is more welcoming and purposed room
for Your work and Your Word.
For the sake of knowing Jesus Christ,
and abiding in Him even as He abides in me.
Amen.
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