Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.
Yes, I’m back in John 15:4 again. Busyness and tiredness often seem to drive me here and every time I read again as if for the first these words.
Words of invitation. Words of gentle encouragement.
A call to come. To make my home, as Eugene Peterson later writes, in his love.
And I reflect again upon what that means. I turn it over and over in my mind. And I see that, though so often his whispered word to me in this is a bidding to come rest, it is yet also an invitation to find him in the midst of the busyness.
The run-raggedness, the endlessness of juggling, the task-upon-taskness of it all: these things are not a barrier to the John 15 dynamic. Busyness need not mean a failure to abide. What matters is that even in my frazzled running I can sit back and know that I choose to do none of this in my own strength, that he will make the decisions about what I get done and what falls to the side, that he alone is the vine and I am but a branch depending entirely on his lifegiving strength.
To make my home in him. It means not that I sit quietly in a place of sanctuary, of ‘home’. It means that wherever I am, whether at work or at rest, I am at home. Whether filled with joy or desperation, well-rested or sleep-deprived, firm in faith or of nearly no faith at all, whatever my circumstance, I am at home and everything I do is an abiding in him. I am at home in his love because he is at home in me, my life entirely constituted by our union. And now – dependent upon this union – I am always at home because, breathtakingly, everywhere is now him.