“as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.” John 15:4
Remain in me ... This seems like the answer to all the questions I have - What will this new year hold? What am I to do? How am I to get everything done? What am I to do about all the situations in my life that seem beyond my control? All the answers lie in those three little words.
But what does it mean to Remain in Christ? I think perhaps it means to be mindful of God's presence, love, wisdom and guiding every moment of every day. To remember that I am not alone, that God is with me. To realize that I don't have all the answers , nor do I need to have them all. I need only stop, pray, seek God's guidance and listen, and I will get my answers, know what is right, what to do next or what not to do.
As I look ahead to this new year, inspired by resolutions to make it better than last year - more loving, more peaceful, more joyful, and healthier, I wonder how to do that. My answer is that I need only Remain in Christ. God has all the answers for all of my questions, small and large. He has the solutions to my scheduling difficulties and my competing priorities, the guidance for my health challenges, and the inspiration and creativity for all of my activities. God has the truth I seek, the peace I crave and the joy I work so hard to create. When I Remain in God I open myself to all that and more.
Remain has such a lovely feel to it - to linger, to be present, to breathe, to listen, to just be. Ahhh... You can just feel the peace in it. There is no hurry in this word. It seems counter intuitive to remain - to stop - in this world that so values activity and accomplishment.
But that's exactly what I'm going to be doing this year - praying more, listening more, remaining open to notice, hear and recognize God's presence and leading in my life. By recommitting to my twice daily prayer times, as well as to being present and attentive to each moment and activity of my day, I will be more able to notice God's presence and leading. By my regular reception of the Eucharist, God will literally remain in me, as I am nourished by His body and blood, filled with His loving presence.
What are your thoughts about how you will Remain in Christ this year? Please feel free to comment so others can be inspired by your ideas too.