Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Rule of Love

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another." John 15:12-17

This morning, as we were eating breakfast, our animals were fighting. Play fighting. We have a girl rescue mixed breed named Petey and rectory litter cat we adopted named Darla. Our girls didn't get along a first. Darla was a small kitten when she came to us and Petey had been with us for more than a year. Darla hissed and complained when they first were together. Now they play fight and Darla cleans Petey's fur and they sleep on the same bed. When Petey is outside answering nature's call, Darla will sit in the window and cry out until Petey returned.

Jesus talked to his disciples about the number one commandment - love. There is no getting around the truth that our single most important requirement for a follower of Jesus is love. Love that doesn't judge, love which cares for all, love that seeks God in another, love that moves beyond fear and different. Love is not something that we can legislate. Loving calls us to be servants, to be filled with compassion and forgiveness and to live humbly with everyone. It is a tall order and we need all the help we can get. I know I do.

Today I ask God to help me be loving in all circumstances. May I see the youth in the eyes of the elderly, the dreams and hopes of the children, and remember that we are all vulnerable and afraid at times. Our first reactions may be fear and defense, but God promises to give us the hearts and minds that can move to compassion and love. May we all find ways to love the unlovely, the fearful, the angry and those who strike out in their own pain. Someone love us when we were miserable and unkind, and someone can know God's love through our kindness this day.

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