Dear Church Family,
Last Sunday afternoon your pastor had a wonderful experience riding his bike on the Kathy Trail in Defiance, Missouri outside of Saint Charles. We ended at a vineyard and we sat in a wine garden and sipped a little of the vintage. You can look out at the hills and see a lot of vines. I don’t know much about what a vineyard does but it looked like all the vines were pruned. As I was praying, this week this wonderful image of Jesus saying, “I am the Vine, you are the branches” and He desires to prune us so that we produce more fruit.
Besides producing the fruit we have the privilege of “Remaining in Him.” I like also the translation where it says, “Abide in Him.” Probably abiding in all the Scriptures there is more repetitions of a few verses which are used over and over again with the word “Remain.” Remain or abide indicates that we have an intimate relationship with the Lord. One of my favorite songs is Blessed Assurance. We simple pray the first verses of Blessed Assurance, “Jesus is mine! O what a foretaste of glory divine!”
We can claim Jesus as ours because we have this great desire above everything else in our lives to remain in Him. Fortified with that type of intimacy with the Lord we have the strength to tackle the problems that are so prevalent in our society. Certainly, we are so concerned with all the violence and murders. Our church reaches out to lots of parents that have especially lost their sons to violence. Also, we are so aware of the injustices and demonstrations in Baltimore. We just have to have reconciliation and peace. We have to be a people of peace while at the same time seeking justice. What I am trying to say is, That the “Remaining-in or the Abiding-in” is indicative of the strength we get from the Lord to go about our daily living and loving. Celebrate today as an Easter Resurrection Moment, your own intimacy with the Lord. Pray for the Grace all week long to be more and more aware of “Remaining and Abiding” in the Lord. Alleluia!
Love, Fr. Bob