I promised I’d let you know whenever I post a new worship service, so here’s the latest one. This week I chose the theme of Abiding.
I’m not sure why I decided on this theme. Maybe it’s because the old hymn “Abide With Me” has been running through my head:
Abide with me, fast falls the eventide
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide
When other helpers fail and comforts flee
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me
Abiding isn’t a word we use much in modern language, so I looked it up: It comes from the Old English words for “onward” and “wait.” What a powerful combination! God’s presence is continual, onward, and God waits with us, stays with us, perseveres with us. The word evokes a deep reminder of God’s steadfast presence, a light and guide, especially for those who struggle on the dark seas of dementia.
When I led this service last weekend, the residents responded beautifully to the sense of abiding with God and God abiding with them. As we talked about abiding, they used words like:
- being with me
- being together
- feeling safe
They especially perked up with Jesus’ example of the vine and branches (John 15). “What’s a branch going to do when it’s on the ground, separated from the vine?” I asked. “What’s it good for?”
“Nothing,” one man wisely answered. “Just kindling.”
“And how about when a branch is attached to the vine, or to a tree?”
“It stays alive!” several people responded. “And it’ll have fruit — if it’s a fruit tree,” one woman added knowingly.
Enjoy this “Abiding” service with your elders and let me know how it goes.
Peace be with you,