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Archive for August 1st, 2013


Thursday, August 1, 2013

6157010118[1]John 13:34

The New Commandment

I give you a new commandment: love one another.  As I have loved you, so should you love one another.

This is so simple and yet so complicated.  This is so clear and yet so foggy.  This is so down-to-earth and yet so mystical.  Jesus is quite clear about how we are to live and why. All else stems from this one commandment of love.

God says: I know that when you see or hear these words you are perplexed.  Many of you are looking for something more vertical and less horizontal, with layers of rules and bureaucracy, with rating systems and hierarchy, but your relationship with me is as simple as this law.  Others want only comfort and drifting forgetfulness but my love is wider and deeper, and more intense than a mere longing.  I know that you look for guarantees, escape hatches and safety values, but none are needed here.  Life with me is really this simple.  Love one another. Put away your anger and hate.  Put aside your gossiping and comparing.  I love each of you.  Deal with your greed and envy.  Laziness and pride are tools you do not need for the work you complete in my vineyard.  I call each of you and you need only this one quality: Love.  It is all.  It is everything.  It is more than enough.  All else stems from this one practice I long to see you embrace.  Love one another as I have loved you.  It is all I ask of you.  It is the only command I give to you.  And yet it is everything.

We humans tend to over-complicate our relationship with God.  We spend lifetimes seeking wisdom and knowledge when all we need to know is walking with us in the person of God all the while.  We spend hours obsessing and harboring when all we need do is forgive, trust God and live in the Spirit.  We spend years alternately ignoring and anguishing about who and what Jesus is while the risen Christ takes up our heavy yoke with us each day.  God gives us this one command.  There is really nothing more we need do.

In John 8:1-11, the Pharisees ask Jesus a question as they try to entrap him.  Read the story to see what happens when Jesus bends to write on the ground with his finger . . . and imagine what he wrote.  Then imagine where you are standing and what you are thinking . . . and tell this story to someone else today.

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