At myoneword.org, readers are encouraged to ditch the long list of new year’s resolutions and instead choose one word to focus on all year long, one word to inspire you, one word that encapsulates the character you want to have.
I’ve chosen abide.
Some people might think I take this whole “one word thing” a little too seriously, but I’ve found over the last couple of years (see: sacrifice and grace) that it is so powerful to let a word– a word that really represents a lifestyle– stay near to my heart as I make big choices.
That’s why I’ve been thinking of what my 2018 word would be for quite some time, even praying about what it should be.
I kept coming back to abide.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:4-5, ESV
In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.
John 14:20, ESV
I remember a class I once taught at my summer camp about a believer’s identity in Christ. I took that verse above– John 14:20– and made it an object lesson.
“Jesus,” I wrote on a slip of paper, then tucked it into a business envelope labelled “Jackie.”
“Christ in me,” I said, then put that envelope into a larger cardboard-sleeve mailer, which was also labelled “Jesus.”
“Christ in me, and I in him.” I put that whole collection into a larger bubble mailer, on which was written “GOD.”
“Christ in God, and I in him, and Christ in me,” I said, holding the whole package up, a sort of Russian nesting doll illustration with me and divinity. “Do you see how safe I am?”
This year I want to remind myself of that truth. To stay connected to the vine, and to bear much fruit. To be safe– but maybe not how you might think: to be so safe in Jesus that I can freely risk myself on others. It’s not about comfort. It’s about identity, an identity that fuels radical love and justice.
Here’s to 2018!