Abide in My Love
Beloved in Christ,
This fall, I’ve invited the entire diocese to dwell together in John 15:1-11 by spending time with it at the beginning of any meeting or other gathering. I hope many of you have done so, or if not, will consider doing so. It’s a rich passage with layers of meaning that reward repeated engagement.
I also think it is a particularly important passage for this season in the life of our church, and the life of the world. While the lingering pandemic, political divisions that continue to burn red hot, struggles to find the best ways to re-shape racist systems and structures, and the daily demands of family and professional life make everything feel so heavy and complex, the passage invites us to the simple clarity of abiding daily and deeply in God’s love, and bearing fruits of joy, justice, and life from that dwelling. In a world where all of us are tired from carrying so much, the passage is an invitation to remember we don’t carry it on our own, and that we can draw from the nourishing power of Jesus who is the true vine.
The best way to keep up and renew our strength, and guard against exhaustion and burnout, is to commit to rooting ourselves, day in and day out, in the vine who alone can sustain us. Whatever that practice is for you, guard it as you would your most precious possession. Commit to it over and over again. We will only be of true use to God, we will only bear authentic and faithful fruits, and we will only keep up our strength, if we soften, and let go, and make spacious room for God’s love to grab hold of us, and through us, to embrace the hurting world around us.
Grace and Peace,
The Right Reverend Craig Loya
Episcopal Church in Minnesota