Friday, April 30, 2010

Love One Another ...

John 13:33-35 - Jesus said, "Just as I have loved you,, you also should love one another." The context is the last supper - we know what happens next. But should it inform how we read this commandment? Are we really supposed to die for each other? And even if we are, can we set that aside to think about the more common, everyday things we can do to love each other.

It is suggested that the NRSV translation of "you also should love one another" would be better translated "so that you can love one another" How might that alter our understanding of this passage?

In any case, how is it we love one another?
What do we do?
And what do we do if we do not want to?
Is it ever harmful to love another?
Much to think about ...

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  1. I can honestly say I don't know much about love. All I know is I am told to do it. I watch people all the time trying to figure out how this commandment should look and feel. I see people smiling at one another as they greet a friend. I see another hugging someone who is greiving or hurt. I see people making health kits for people they do not even know. I see tithes and offerings in the plate each Sunday, and I see the Pastor talking to and teaching my children. I hear the prayers for others and the stories of joy and communion. People in need are fed and tasks get done by someone, even the small ones that go unnoticed.

    But what gets me. What breaks through my wall of pretense, is someone looking into my eyes for just a second longer than normal. The small head tilt, of someone who hears my soul above the chaos of every day life. The person whose expression says when they ask me how I am, that they really want to know. The one who sits down to listen, to let me know, I matter. What gets me, is this laying down of someone else's life to take notice of mine. The person who, if even only for a short while puts their needs aside, to try and meet mine. Isn't that really how Jesus loved His diciples? Each day setting aside His burden, and it was a substantial burden, to teach and prepare those He loved. To see their needs even in the midst of his own betrayal and death.

    The only real thing I know to do in an attempt to love anyone, is to really see them. The midnight hour, bare souled, vulnerable, all hats off, person. To try and greet them without expectation of anything more than their creative beauty. To love them without demand of them. This is all I know about love.

    I can't promise to hold your hand or even hug you if you cry, I am not particularly good at either of those, but I will love you, tears and all, with out correction or expectation. I will listen with all of my attention to who you really are. I will do all I can to help anyone see their own possibility and light. I think its a good start. And I am always watching to learn more.