Rector's Msg.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:34-35

I just was looking at Facebook this morning and a group of my friends were fighting about whether to wear masks or not. Each had conflicting sets of data and positions that were hardened through weeks of arguing. Over the past months we can see that it is not only facemasks, which have caused conflict on social media. The same sort of behavior can be seen in the realm of interpretations of racial issues in our country, as well. People appear to be firmly established in their beliefs and unwilling to stir, when presented with conflicting data. A brief scan of the news, the Internet, or social media reveals that our country is at a place of real difficulty. The way that people are relating to each other in the world seems to be truly broken, so what does that mean for the church?

In the Gospel of John, Jesus is with His disciples at the Last Supper and he tells them, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” We all know from reading our Bible that there already were some laws on the books about loving others. Remember in the Gospels it had been asserted that the Greatest Commandment was to love God with your heart soul and mind, while the second was to love your neighbor as yourself. So, how is Jesus’ commandment in John 13 different? Well, the earlier commandment was about loving your neighbor as yourself. Here in the New Commandment the disciples are called to love “just as I have loved you.” We know that Jesus loved in a very unique way. He sacrificed Himself for others. He laid down His position, His honor, and His fame so that He could offer hope and life to broken people. The way that Jesus led His life was revealed to the disciples, when He knelt down and washed their feet. He was the Lord, who took the role of a servant.

Jesus calls His disciples to love one another, as He has loved them. Not to love each other, as we love ourselves, but to love each other, as God loves us. To live out divine love in our relationships. This is the kind of love, which the world is so in need of. When Christians love, as Jesus loved us, the bickering and incessant need to be right fades into the background, and we can love people where they are with all their flaws because we know that we are loved with all our flaws. I pray that Jesus Christ gives us strength to live out this way of loving in our world and to lay down our lives for others.

In Christ,

~Seth~