Thursday, April 29, 2010
Easter 5c - John 13:31-35
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.” You would think the church could get this one right. After all, love is what we preach and teach and claim to believe in the pulpit and in the pew. In fact if there is anything we should be able to get right it is this simple command. Love one another. Just do it. It’s not rocket science. Of course that would mean the “one another” we are commanded to love would have to be a little more loveable or in other words a little more like us or better, more like me. It is a sign of our sinfulness that loving one another is contingent on conforming to my way or the highway. But in “love one another as I have loved you” we are called to conform to the selfless way of Jesus whose love was made visible in death to rescue those who refused to be loved. So if we do not love one another it is because we do not love Jesus, for we cannot love Jesus without loving the “one another” Jesus was dying to love. That is not to say love is an invitation to be abused. You can love from a distance. But to love the “one another” as those loved by Christ means we see the other as Christ does. Therefore love one another as I have loved you means love Jesus in the unreasonable other. Love Jesus in the selfish other. Love Jesus in the spiteful other. Love Jesus in the weak willed and untrustworthy other. Then others will know that we are disciples of Jesus for we love one another, for Jesus’ sake, so that others will love Jesus. None of which can happen unless you love Jesus in you. So I guess in that way it really is all about me.