“The heart of our vocation as Christians is not achieving ambitious goals of our own devising. Our vocation is simply to stay so indissolubly attached to Jesus, the true vine, ‘that Christ may dwell in our hearts’ (see Eph. 3:17). The essence of our call is a mystical union with Christ so deep that we, ‘being rooted and grounded in love,’ may ‘know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge,’ that we ‘may be filled with all the fullness of God’ (Eph. 3:17,19).” (Deborah Smith Douglas. “Vine and Branches: Abiding in Christ.” Weavings. September/October 2001, p. 26.)
I love the language Douglas uses here to describe the centrality of abiding in Christ. For example, it seems natural to define leadership more in terms of “achieving ambitious goals” rather than as the fruit of “staying indissolubly attached to Jesus.” Leadership is one of the fruits that cannot be borne in our lives apart from such intimate and continuous living in Jesus and Jesus living in me.
“Jesus, just as you came two millennia past to be born in a body like mine, thank You for being born in me. May You be more fully formed in me today. Whatever there is in me that stands as a barrier to Your being fully at home in me, please knock it down and cast it out. Do in me what I will never be able to do by and for myself. By Your grace, strengthen the union between the branch of my life and the Vine of Your Life. Father, I give You heartfelt thanks in Christ and by Your Holy Spirit. Amen.
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