When the Cambridge Dictionary announced their word of the year for 2021, I did an enthusiastic double take. Their choice of perseverance may have been inspired by the name of the space rover that landed on Mars in February 2021, but it is also a noun form of my own word of the year: PERSEVERE.
The team at the Cambridge Dictionary described perseverance as a “word which perfectly captures the undaunted will of people across the world to never give up, despite the many challenges of 2021.” With more than 243,000 searches on the site, it was clearly a word on the minds of English-speaking people, and its definition explains why: “a continual effort to do or achieve something, even when this is difficult or takes a long time.”
One project that has required a fair amount of perseverance this year is memorizing John 15:1-8, largely because of John’s infuriating habit of repeating himself, making subtle changes in his wording with each repetition. However, John did stick tenaciously with the word abide, repeating it seven times in the first nine verses of John 15. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled across the tiny biblical languages tidbit that abide arises from the Greek root that means to bear up courageously under suffering.
Sure sounds like perseverance to me!
In this, then, I find permission to read John 15 with perseverance in mind:
Persevere in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it perseveres in the vine, neither can you, unless you persevere in me… Whoever perseveres in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing… If you persevere in me, and my words persevere in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you… Persevere in my love.John 15:4, 5, 7, 9
Over halfway through Advent season, the end of the year is more visible than I care to acknowledge, but even with the end in sight, I want to continue to persevere, to finish well. I believe that’s your desire as well, so I’m lifting up a prayer for an abiding perseverance for us all based on John 15. I invite you to join me!
A Prayer for You as You Persevere
Creator of all good things,
You are the one who first persevered,
Who loved us all the way to the cross, and so,
We believe that you can create the virtue of perseverance in us,
your impatient people.
Because you have persevered in us, we find grace to persevere in you.
Because you are in the business of producing actual holiness in our lives,
We discover the joyful surprise of fruitfulness.
We long for your Word to persevere in us,
As you change us from the inside out.
Empower us, Lord, for an active showing up,
A participating eagerness to receive all that you long to teach us in this moment–
And the next.
Show us how to persevere in success and rich harvest
And how to persevere in hardship and loss,
And so shall we prove to be your true disciples.
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
Holding you in the Light,
Over halfway through Advent season, the end of the year is more visible than I care to acknowledge. I want to continue to persevere, to finish well. If that’s your desire as well, join me in prayer for an abiding perseverance!Tweet
The Countdown Begins! 10… 9… 8…
Make the ten days before Christmas meaningful (and establish a great habit!) by meeting with God, pondering a carol, and paying attention to the arrival of the One True Light. I’ve designed a free guided journal for Advent, and Welcoming the Light is just one example of my commitment to support women in the goal of becoming confident Christ-followers and students of God’s Word.
What I’m Reading Now
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