Family Liturgies

Family Liturgy: Abide in Love

hearts–by Jennifer Mills-Knutsen

Scripture: John 15:9-12

“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. This is my
commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

Points of Conversation

“Abide” is an old-fashioned word that many children do not know, but it is a great word for understanding how God relates to us and how we relate to one another. Abide has a threefold definition: 1) to accept or bear; 2) to stay or live somewhere; 3) to remain or continue. Talk together about what it means to abide with one another.

Being a family is about abiding together. How does your family accept one another and bear with one
another? How does your family stay together? What does it mean to live together as a family? If your
family is separated by geography or conflict or divorce, consider talking about how you are still family
to one another even if you don’t live together. Talk about remaining together—sticking together as a
family even when times are hard. As a parent, remind your children that you will remain with them no
matter what.

After you have talked about what it means to abide together in general, consider what it means to add
“in love” to the description, as Jesus instructs. How do you abide in love with one another? Just because you abide together (sharing a home, tolerating each other) doesn’t mean you do it with love. Sometimes you can abide together even while you are being unkind. What can you do to add more love to your abiding together as a family? How can you love one another as Jesus loves us all?

Remember that God abides with us in love always. No matter where we go in the whole universe, God still abides with us. No matter what we do, God still abides with us in love.

Spiritual Practice

Using construction paper, draw and cut out some simple paper hearts in various sizes. If your child is
old enough to read, you can write “Abide in Love” on them, or just leave them blank. Walk through your home and consider how you abide together in each room—even the bathroom! Think about how you can add more love to your abiding in each space, and then place the hearts around the room as a reminder. Some may be hidden to find later, others may be posted in a public way. For example, you
might tape one to the back of the remote control to remind you to share as a way of abiding in love. You might hide one in the couch cushions or in a drawer to be a surprise discovery later. When you see or find a heart, remember to abide in love with all those in your family and your home.


Dear God, thank you for abiding with us always. Teach us to abide with one another in love, as Jesus
taught us to do. Help us to listen to one another, to share with one another, to accept one another, and to remain together with you. Amen.


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