“Abide with Me”
“When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” Luke 18:22. The ruler had approached Jesus with “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Now, to the ears of Western culture, this may sound like he was looking for a once-and-done task that he could complete and then rest easy until eternity. Jesus does tell him that there’s one thing he lacks but then concludes with “come, follow me.” Jesus was not keeping the man away; his wealth was. The Greek words for ‘do’ and ‘follow’ have ‘abide’ in them. When we sing the song, “Abide with Me,” we want God’s presence dwelling with us, yes, but for that to happen we must be willing to abide with Him, like the ruler initially wanted to do. We can’t do that if we have something that comes between us and God. First we must remove whatever that is, and then the invitation is open; Jesus doesn’t turn anyone away. Let us not be like the ruler who, when he heard that what stopped him from abiding with Christ was not something he was willing to give up, went away sad. What do you lack to abide with Christ?