John 15: 1-8
Abide in me...
And in return,
I'll stay with you.
What is it to 'abide'?
The words pinging about my head right now are
The invitation to abide works both ways: it is a mutual hospitality where the doors are flung open, the lights are all on, the teapot steaming - mutual welcome, ongoing friendship.
This, in turn, sets up the process of creating community, because the business of abiding is not merely a 'me and my God' experience: there are other 'branches' in on this. Although all one in our abiding, there's a broadness and diversity as well.
At the heart of abiding is a deep, deep, well of generosity.
encouraging us to be generous...
encouraging us to be hospitable in the same manner in which hospitality has been given to us.
And the fruit of generous hospitality?
A place where all are welcome.
Where all have a place at the table.
Where all abide in God,
in one another,
in grace and love,
without rancour, or bitterness, or fear,
or trying to fence God in
or keeping God to ourselves,
The tea and muffins are waiting on God's table of grace,
the cushions on the chairs have all been fluffed and preened and primped and made ready.
Time to rest, remain and blossom together.