December 13, 2022

Taylor Abaroa
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
John 15:9-13

Before becoming a parent, I remember people saying well-intentioned things like “parenthood will change you,” “kids change everything,” “just wait.” While I did not find many of those comments helpful, one thing that did change was having a different understanding of God’s love for me.

As a parent, I understand more how Christ-like love endures, is given freely, and wants the best for the other. The verses above are speaking to remaining or abiding in God’s love. When we remain somewhere, we stay there. We sit in it, we saturate in it, we meditate upon it. We don’t leave it or forsake it. Unlike my humanly love, God’s love is unconditional and everlasting.

As Jesus is sharing with His disciples the secret of remaining connected to Him, He describes His love as a place of safety, protection, and a wellspring of joy. As we journey throughout this advent season, let us not forsake first remaining, staying connected, and sitting in the safety of God’s love. In fact, as we do that, Jesus assures us of “joy that will overflow.”