What comes to mind for you when you hear the word “love”? What thoughts or feelings or memories does “love” evoke in you? Take a second and let the word wash over you: love.
I imagine that, like me, you’re probably feeling kind of a warm, cozy, internal feeling, and you’re probably thinking about members of your family or your close friends, or maybe remembering how you met your spouse. Or certainly today you might be thinking about the mother figures in your life, or about the people with whom you have a mothering kind of relationship. Heh, if you’re really like me, you might also be thinking about your cats or your other pets. These feelings of love are a gift – and they are such a central part of what makes us human.
Love is also central in the bible, and it’s a major theme in our texts for this week, as well as in our texts from last week. In fact, both our second reading and our gospel reading for today pick up immediately after our second reading and gospel reading from last Sunday. Much like this week, the author of 1 John reminded us last week that God is love, and that God loves us and that we are called to love one another. And this week, in our reading from (regular old) John, we find Jesus still in the upper room with his disciples on the night in which he is betrayed; he’s still trying to get them to understand what it really means to be his disciples – he’s trying to teach them that love is at the heart of discipleship.
Indeed, love is the foundation of our faith. Jesus has told us that the first and greatest commandment is that we are to love God with all our heart and with all our mind and with all our strength – and that the second commandment is that we are to love our neighbor as ourself. And here he says it yet again, in our gospel reading:
Continue reading “Sermon: Choosing Love”
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”John 15:12