Sunday, March 17, 2024

To Experience God’s Presence, Abide in Christ

(Pear tree in my neighbor's back yard.)

This is from my book Leading the Presence-Driven Church.

We have an old pear tree in our back yard. As I bite into one of these pears I tell Linda, “This is the fruit of the gods!” The pears grow on the branches. The branches are attached to the trunk of the tree. This connection allows the nutrients of the trunk to flow into the branches. To produce pears, the branch just needs to stay connected. It needs to remain, or abide, in the trunk of the tree. 

To be, in the present moment, attached to Jesus is to abide in him. The word can be translated “to remain,” or “to dwell.” 

To dwell is to truly be with someone. “Abide” is an experiential word, describing a lingering, slow-cooked, togetherness. 

The Greek word is menon. It has the sense of tarrying, hanging around, “to be kept continually.” Menon is a kairos word. It connotes, “Slow down, spend the day with me. Kick off your shoes. Here’s a cup of coffee. Let’s recline in the fireplace room, and be together.” 

Menon is a being-word, more than a doing-word. It is a presence word. Menon is active, alert, focused, and engaged. It has the thickness and intensity of a lover, with their beloved. To abide with someone is to full-being be with them, interact with them, and meet with them. It is to hang out together, with cell phones off and stowed away.