As Leighton Ford states in Chapter 4 of The Attentive Life, if contemplation means to look at life in God’s presence with fresh-washed eyes, we need to stay in touch with Christ by abiding in Him. While the word abiding may convey a sense of passive coziness, abiding- like contemplation- has a more robust sense. Specifically, going and abiding belong together. Just as Jesus promised to be with His disciples when He sent them out into the world, we too are on a mission where Jesus will be present with us.
The late Leslie Newbigin beautifully captured this sense of abiding in his book The Light Has Come: An Exposition of the Fourth Gospel:
“The gracious indwelling of God with his people is not an invitation to settle down and forget the rest of the world; it is a summons to mission, . . . So the promise of his presence is clinched in the words, ‘Up, let us go hence.’ There is a mission to be fulfilled. There is a conflict to be waged with the powers of this world. There is tribulation to be endured.”
Leighton Ford concludes by emphasizing that abiding isn’t an invitation to some cozy time by the fire, although such respites are welcome. Rather, it is a summons to stick with Jesus wherever that way may lead, knowing that He’s promised to be with us.
Today’s question: What has been your previous association with the word abiding? Does Leslie Newbigin’s quote alter that conception? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Indwelling- an imperative for abundant life in Jesus”