“Abide in me as I abide in you,” says in John 15:4 (NRSVUE)

I love Vacation Bible School. As a young boy, I attended VBS with other kids from my small neighborhood, and that was one of the first places I felt the love of God as we spent time together reading the Bible, singing Christian songs, playing games, and sharing food and drinks as part of the VBS program. For kids, VBS is a wonderful activity to do during the vacation period from school.

Today was the last day of VBS for my four-year-old granddaughter. They spent five days this week learning about Jesus. When you ask my granddaughter Eliana about what they have learned about Jesus this week, she will tell you this: Monday, we learned that Jesus is Holy. Tuesday, we learned that Jesus is Trustworthy. Wednesday, we learned that Jesus is Forgiving. Thursday, we learned that Jesus is Worth Trusting. Friday, that is today, we learned that Jesus is for Everyone. Eliana was very excited to share with me the lessons she learned about Jesus at VBS. Her excitement to not only learn about Jesus but also to share the things she’s learned, especially at her young age, really warms my heart.

There is more to this. While walking her out of the church building, she called me Lolo (a Tagalog term for grandpa), and said, “Lolo, Jesus is everyone.” My response was, “Eliana, did you say Jesus is everyone?” “Yes, I did,” she replied. And I smiled at her and told my granddaughter, “Eliana, you are correct!” We ended this short conversation by buying mini M&M shakes at the nearby Sonic drive-in.

This thought about “Jesus is everyone” still lingers in my mind, which is why I am writing this reflection. Is Jesus everyone? Let me think through this with some things that I know about Jesus. For example, I believe that Jesus is the beloved child of God. If Jesus is everyone, I should also say that every person is a beloved child of God. I also believe that Jesus loves all little children regardless of where they come from or no matter what the color of their skin is. If Jesus is everyone, I should also show love to all children in the world. Can you think of another example where you can claim that Jesus is everyone?

If Jesus is everyone, what is the role and responsibility of the church to make this teaching about Jesus become real and true in the lives of all God’s children? Isn’t it true that the church exists to help every person become holy, trustworthy, and forgiving, and asks us to live for everyone?

Eliana’s statement that “Jesus is everyone” is a reminder of Jesus’ teaching in the Gospel of John, chapter 15, verses 4-5 and 11 that says, Abide in me as I abide in you. Just 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. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothingI have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” Can you imagine a world where every person is like Jesus? Don’t you wish to live in a world where every person abides and bears fruit because of their connection with Jesus? Isn’t the ultimate fruit of being a disciple of Jesus to live like Jesus? Are you abiding with Jesus and living your life like Jesus?

Prayer Song:

Jesus is in me, and Jesus is in you

Jesus is in us, and He loves us

Jesus is in me, and Jesus is in you

Jesus is in us, for He loves us

SOooh… Therefore

We should be one

Come one another

As He has done

Oooh… Therefore

We should be one

Come one another

As He has done. Amen.