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Abiding – Tree and Branch

Kidsermons – May 17, 2020  —  6th Sunday of Easter – Year A – RCL

Video sermon link available at bottom of page!

Abide-Baabara 2

Scripture: John 14:15-21 (NRSV)

Jesus said, ”If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you. 

“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”

Today is the sixth Sunday of the Easter season. The Easter season of the church year is still here. Jesus died and rose from the grave. Then he went up into heaven to be with God the Father again. But before he went, he promised his disciples that he would send the Holy Spirit to be with them. Jesus said, “You know (the Spirit) because he abides with you, and he will be in you.”

The word, “abide” means to be closely connected, like the feeling of wanting to stay close to home. Nowadays, with the COVID-19 virus still being passed from person to person, we all need to stay close to home to be safe. But “abide” means to be so closely connected that the relationship goes both ways. Like a grape branch connected to the grape vine, the connection is a life-giving one. The leaves of the branch collect energy from the sun and that flows into the main vine. And the water absorbed from the ground by the main vine flows up into the branch, to keep the leaves green.

vine and branch

When the Spirit of God abides with us or lives in us, we are solidly connected with God. Jesus is our life. Our hearts are full of life and joy because of that connection. We communicate through prayer and reading God’s word. God will never leave us. The main vine does not cut off its own branches. If we decide that we want to leave God, and we want to cut ourselves off from God, then the connection is broken. That, for us, is a spiritual death.

If you want to see what this looks like, you could go outside and cut a small branch off from a sprouting tree or bush, and then bring it into the house. How long does that branch stay green and alive when it is cut off from the main plant? You can keep it green for a while, if you put it in water, but it will eventually die apart from the tree.

God wants to be connected with us. God wants to abide with us. How do we stay connected? We pray to God. We read the Bible. We talk to others about God. We listen to what God is saying to our hearts. Lately, it is harder to stay connected to people, but it’s not impossible. We call people on the phone. We chat with our family and friends over computers and digital devices. In that way we stay connected, even though we cannot physically touch them. In the same way, we need to stay connected with God. “Abide with me,” says Jesus. May the Spirit abide in us deeply and keep us strong in our faith.

Let’s pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, help us to stay connected with you. Help us to remember to pray and to listen for your voice. Be with our family and friends and help us to keep those connections strong, even when we cannot see them in person or give them hugs. Thank you for your love that will not ever let us go. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

“The Abiding Tree” video children’s message!

Note from author: Permission granted to churches to use the video message in online services.

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