I Give You a New Commandment

“At the last supper, when Judas had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.'”

John 13:31-35

This passage from John is one of the most basic and straight-forward commandments that Jesus gives, for my money.  We don’t have any quixotic quips about camels and eyes of needles, or the like.  We have a very concrete and simple commissioning from our Lord and Savior:  “…love one another.”

And…WHAT a task.  I know that I am so unlovable at moments even I can barely stand myself.  How in the WORLD could anyone else stand me.  Ha!  Yet there it is:  one of the ways the world will know us as disciples of Jesus is by how we love one another, and therefore how we love the world.

Frances Joseph-Gaudet

Today is the feast of Frances Joseph-Gaudet.  She was born in a log cabin to African American and Native American parents in the town of Holmesville, Mississippi in the year 1861.  Joseph-Gaudet, by her sheer love for those who were imprisoned and under-educated, changed how the nation viewed those incarcerated and shed a spotlight on under-educated youth in the deep South.  Specifically she was an ardent advocate for prison reform which began in 1894 and lasted the remaining 40 years of her life.  She showed her love to those incarcerated, the was the voice of many who had no voice in the correctional system in this country.

How is it that we openly show our love for one another?  I’m not talking about gratuitous displays of public affection, but how is it that if the casual observer were to look at us he or she would know that we are a Christ-ian (a follower of Jesus Christ)?  Do we reflect the love that God has given to us freely through His great mercy and goodness?  Are we reflections of the love of Christ in the world?

My prayer for us today, and for the coming new year is that we find small yet visible ways that we show the world that we are Christians–through how we love one another.  I pray that we are the shining reflection of God’s love for us out in the world to those who may not know any love or kindness.

In the name of God who knows us completely and loves us anyway,

About matthewhanisian

Associate Rector at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C.
This entry was posted in The Rev. Matthew R. Hanisian and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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