Saturday

“I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another. If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you.” (vv. 17-18)

John 15:17-27 Saturday 28 October 2017

Psalm: Psalm 117


Background

Conflicts within our churches and communities can often occurbecause of small, seemingly unimportant details, which one groupthinks are more important than the others. What starts off as adisagreement about thingscan often escalate into being a personalvendetta against individuals and caricatures.

This same sequence is happening here. The world is criticisingand demeaning the disciples, but Jesus encourages them not to getangry, or to make the conflict personal - but to realise that thetension is about the kingdom of God rather than a personalvendetta.

To the disciples, Jesus is telling them to expect persecution,but also to press into relationship rather than away from it. Thisis easier said than done! It is hard to move towards a relationshipwhen the people responsible for the breakdown of trust, kindness,love, and family are keen on perpetrating the dislocation ofrelationship. It is hard to love each other when there is pain andbetrayal and disappointment. It is difficult to follow Jesus, andto be called to a relationship with those who would do moreharm.

It is no surprise, therefore, that this tough explanation isthen followed by the promise of the Holy Spirit. Just when Jesus ispresenting a bleak, honest, account of what is to happen - thedisciples are promised the help they need in order to livefaithfully and vulnerably, and in connection with others. The HolySpirit will provide the resource and power to live in love.

The priest and hermit, Carlo Caretto has written the followingabout living in love:

 "Don't worry about what youought to do.
Worry about loving.
Don't interrogate heaven, repeatedly and uselessly saying:
'what action should I take'.
Concentrate on loving instead.
By loving, you will find what is for you.
Loving you will listen to the Voice.
Loving you will find peace."


To Ponder

  • How can you make a move towards relationship in the midst ofconflict this week?
  • What does 'living in love' mean for you?
  • What conflicts in your life and experience could be transformedby the Holy Spirit and by deeper relationships rather thandislocation?
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