As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
Love leads to joy! That's what Jesus said to his friends - that he encouraged his friends to stay (that beautiful word 'abide') in love that joy may be complete. By joy, I don't believe Jesus means 'feeling happy' - but a sense of fulfilment, of well-being, of wholeness - and with that in mind, the greatest joy is knowing and sharing love.
Abiding in love is the key, nurturing a heart and mind which is fully receptive and open to the love of God.
To abide is to consciously remain within a space or place. To fully inhabit somewhere. This place of love, leading to joy, is entered as we pray, as we hear the voice of God through Scripture, meditation, and through learning to see the divine in the everyday - in the beauty and the brokenness which surrounds us, the touch of and encounter with friend and stranger, the wonder of creation. When we learn to love all things as being in God and God as being all things. Then we will abide in love, and come to that place of knowing joy,
This was put bette by Thomas Traherne, Clergyperson, mystic, poet who wrote
“You never enjoy the world aright, till the Sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens, and crowned with the stars: and perceive yourself to be the sole heir of the whole world, and more than so, because men (sic) are in it who are every one sole heirs as well as you. Till you can sing and rejoice and delight in God, as misers do in gold, and Kings in sceptres, you never enjoy the world.
Till your spirit filleth the whole world, and the stars are your jewels; till you are as familiar with the ways of God in all Ages as with your walk and table: till you are intimately acquainted with that shady nothing out of which the world was made: till you love men (sic) so as to desire their happiness, with a thirst equal to the zeal of your own: till you delight in God for being good to all: you never enjoy the world.”
Thomas Traherne, Centuries of Meditation
O Lord, you have taught us that without love whatever we do is worth nothing:
Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our hearts your greatest gift,
which is love, the true bond of peaceand of all virtue,
without which whoever lives is accounted dead before you.
Grant this for the sake of your only Son Je-sus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.