From God's fullness we have all received, grace upon grace
Lectio Divina: “continue”

Lectio Divina: “continue”

Gospel reading: John 8.31-42

Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’ They answered him, ‘We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, “You will be made free”?’

Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word. I declare what I have seen in the Father’s presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.’


‘Continue’ is a gentle word, a word that is not demanding of great things, a word speaking of home and abiding.

It implies of course continuity, a connection between what came before and what is now and what will be. It connotes being and dwelling in the present and not needing to worry about what lies far ahead, but simply taking the next step, simply keeping going.

It does not require great effort. It does not need choirs of angels or a voice from heaven or a great miracle in affirmation. It is content.

Other words in the passage – never, permanent, for ever – are a veeery long time and fill me with weariness. Continue is less ambitious.

But being affirmed as a child of God (John 1.12), held by Jesus so that no-one will ever snatch me out of his hand (John 10.28), is a cocoon, a safe space for unfurling, and gives me confidence as i continue in faith and trust.


Since April 2020, I have been jointly hosting a shared Lectio Divina group on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings. These are my reflections only, during the prayer session and as I wrote them up. Please see my separate commentary and leaflet for more information about shared Lectio.