St. John was a contemplative.
Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine…
It’s a fact, life means abiding in Christ. That word, abiding – dwelling – has a restive quality to it. It’s not simply a physical address. It’s not a place to just come and go from. It’s not a storage facility where you keep stuff. No. It’s a economy all of its own. An economy of intimacy. An economy of peace. An economy of shelter. An economy of love, which means self-forgetfulness, which means truthfulness, which means trust.
Interestingly enough, this peaceful, restful intimacy will in and of itself serve as a lightning rod for persecution against it (15:18-27, 16:1-6, 20-22). But it has its own justification of being. The Spirit justifies its reality, its simplicity, its beauty (15:26-27). And this contemplative, mystical reality judges those who have no notion of this…those who live with the spirit of the world (16:9-11).
It’s ironic that something so basic to common human identity is ground under foot in favour of people’s self-promoted fantasies…which even includes twisting the Gospel of St. John itself to fit enculturated notions of Christian self-promotion and ego and churchly ‘advancement’.