Interior decorating is not a gift the Holy Spirit has blessed me with, that’s for sure.
Where do I place this clock? Does this pillow go with that couch? But, what if I don’t like the “in style” gray? I’m throwing up the white flag; I don’t have the knack for this décor stuff.
I’ll let my husband take care of it (he loves that stuff. Don’t tell him I told you.)
So, instead of debating whether or not “cross walls” are out of style, let’s pick up our Bibles and head over to John 6:47.
Shhh…Jesus is in the middle of His great Bread of Life discourse. Let’s quietly listen in…
Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.
Apostle John, “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” loves this word.
Take some time and read the Gospel of John and see how many times he uses abide.
Heck, just take a look at the beginning of Chapter 15.
Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
Okay, okay, Jesus, I get it! You want me to abide in you and you in me.
Maybe it’s all in my head, but it is sounding like “abiding in Jesus” is key to a relationship with Him.
Abide is used for the first time in the New Testament when Jesus speaks of the one True Bread.
In greek the word meno means to stay, abide, dwell, remain as one. In some bibles you’ll see “remain” instead of “abide.”
Abide is connected to the word abode: the place where someone lives.
When Jesus says, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them,” He is telling us that we will live, remain, dwell in Him. And He remains in us.
He will be living in us. He will be coming into our bodies, our home.
“Jesus, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof. But, only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
I’m stealing this from a MagnifiKid! article that explained the changes that were applied to the Mass…
“In chapter 8 of Matthew’s Gospel, a centurion (an officer of the Roman Army) begs Jesus to heal his dying servant. The centurion does not feel so special that Jesus should come to his house, and he knows that Jesus is so great that he can be obeyed by just giving an order. So, in verse 8, the centurion says with great respect and humility, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my servant shall be healed.” By praying the exact words of the centurion before we go to Communion (except for the words “my servant,” which remain “my soul”) we are saying that we believe in the power of Jesus, and we pray that God will heal us and come to us, just as he healed the centurion’s servant.”
Right before Communion, we kneel and beg God to make us worthy…
to Abide in Him
to have Jesus come under our roof
for God to come into our own personal “house” of our bodies and remain, dwell physically in us
….through the Eucharist.
As Catholics, we are truly, truly abiding in Jesus Christ.
How lucky are we!
This also means that we are His body and blood’s living tabernacle.
So, just as much as we want to have our family’s home decorated all pretty and cozy, perfectly fitting our family’s needs and personality; we need to make sure God’s tabernacle in our bodies are fit for such a “house guest.”
We need to clean out our sins, dust off our negativity and see ourselves as beautifully decorated and worthy, just as God sees us.
Lord, I am not worthy that I should become your tabernacle, but only say the word and your home shall be healed…and please disregard the color swatches on the wall. Amen.
Copyright 2016 Stephanie Stovall