Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Today’s text

John 13:34-35

[Jesus said], 'I give you a new commandment: love one another; you must love one another just as I have loved you. It is by your love for one another, that everyone will recognize you as my disciples.'


All my life I have read these words as an individual invitation and challenge. “Come,” you say. “Enter the love that I am. Be transformed by infinite warmth that welcomes you and always will. Then live your life in the warmth of my embrace.”

I still hear that, but now so much more.

Your words are spoken to community, a group. The love you are is the air your church is invited to breathe and to become. Breathe this air for a while, and grace becomes flesh, even in one’s own.

Sitting on the floor talking to children, goofy kids, hearing their memories and stories it occurs to me that we breathe that air, Jesus, the fresh breath of Spirit. They listen to each other as well as they can, and I have the urge to tell them how much I love them all. I want to gather them in my arms and love out of them anything that keeps them from knowing and feeling the wonder that each of them is.

I want to become the love you are for them, at least as best I can, which isn’t much I admit. But sitting there on the floor, laughing and telling stories, there is a moment when affection is mutual, and your command to love is utterly unneeded for loving is as natural and easy as looking at each other and realizing that we are not many but one.

Somehow, we are one beating heart in harmonious rhythm, moved by a force invisible as air but just as undeniable. It’s holy, and we are part of it, not as individuals but as a single body whose principle is an affection and care that feels limitless.

I’m not entirely sure how this happens. I don’t know what any of us did to open the door that let eternity flood the moment. Maybe we just opened our hearts and spoke of what we love, what makes us laugh and brings joy. Maybe we were just ourselves … beyond any fears that who we are or what we say isn’t welcome. That certainly happened.

And in its happening your command, your desire for us became as real as the hugs with which we sent each other on our way. And just then, loving as you love was no towering achievement or act of will, but a gift given in community by children who had no idea the wonder they freely gave to one tired soul.

Pr. David L. Miller

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the post, pastor. I appreciate how you allow us to ponder how the fulfillment of this love is a free gift that we are unable to completely describe.