Sunday 13 May 2012

Bible Book:

"This is my commandment, that you love one another." (v. 12)

John 15:9-17 Sunday 13 May 2012


On Valentine's Day I stood by a florist street-stall watchingmothers and grandfathers, as well as younger people, arrive andmake their purchases for their sweethearts - a truly movingsight.

There was a vast array from which they could make their choices,not least the prices! The roses however, were a special breed thorns!

If only love were so sweet, beautiful and painless. But real lifelove is rarely that. Yes it has its times of pure joy, delight andpleasure and we hope that is most of the time, but these are oftenmingled with the pain or sorrow of what it costs to love.

Charles Wesley's hymn, Jesus has died that I might live, reminds us ofthe costly, self-giving love that Christ pours out over the worldfrom the cross. Such sacrifice takes the quality of love to thevery depths of our being, away from the frivolous and commercial,challenging us all to live honestly with our heartfelt emotions anddeep substance of our lives.

Today's passage from John's Gospel comes amid the final discoursesin which Christ seeks to warn the disciples of what is coming,acutely aware that the time of parting will be very hard for them,thorns will pierce them all.

So, when Christ gave us just one rule to live by, "love oneanother", he did so knowing how hard that would be for us all; tolive 'in love' throughout our lives - thorns and all.

This week we rejoice with heaven at the reuniting of God withGod's Son on Accession Day (Thursday). For us we may feel pained atthe remembrance of a final act of separation from us but that lossserves to unite us with God's costly love for us. It is a lovewhich asks us to love God and love one another for their true lovelies.

To Ponder

When we separate ourselves from God by ouractions or thoughts, how can we begin to live again in a way thatdemonstrates that we are still in love with God?

It can be said that most people prefer to keepthemselves to themselves. How might you try to overturn this trendin your everyday life?


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