Abide

John 14:1-14

This is just before Jesus is arrested, in John's gospel there is this long farewell discourse which starts here in chapter 14 and ends in 17. As John always does he takes us into the mystery of belief, it is hard to understand, at least it should be. Yet we do know there are familiar reference points to John's gospel. One of them is this sense of abiding. The disciples should know the Father because Jesus dwells, abides with him. This is part of the point for belief. Do not fear, I am leaving you but you will know how to go on by believing.

How do we abide in belief, especially when what we believe is shaken? I've thought a lot about this abiding in as one, as Jesus puts it, this week it is surprising how much something turns up in everyday life if you just pay attention. A friends father died this week and sometime during the week he posted this on Facebook, "This says it all, there is no more", it was King's College Choir singing "Abide with me" you know the hymn we sing at funerals, "in life in death, oh Lord, abide with me." As the choir sings and the boys choir comes in with the high soaring descant at the end, in this beauty abiding seems clear or maybe its believing seems more clear.

Abiding in belief can mean just listening. We've been out at the house on the lake cleaning up from the water which got in during April. As I stood on the deck and let the silence in there is this sense of deep abiding. In the quiet, listening to all the sounds, watching for something in the water, hearing the leaves drip, abiding. Abiding in the creation, taking it in as a part of us, because we were both created by the same hand. There is a deep sense of peace and connection, abiding in belief.

Nothing puts it better than someone else though. There was a story related to me about someone whose daughter had to have a heart transplant. During this time of waiting and wondering the person said they always had believed in Jesus, they just didn't realize how much Jesus really loved them, really loved. It was through this hard time where this sense of deep abiding came. This is what Jesus is preparing the disciples and us for. No matter the difficulties, no matter where the journey takes us, if we have belief we can abide, we will know this indwelling of belief.

This is what is meant by belief to the disciples from Jesus today. Through the arrest, trial, death believe. No matter how far away and desperate things seem to get cling to this belief. I haven't left you, believe and through believing is an abiding through it all. This abiding which can heal us.