Love Command – Good News for May 14

14 05 2009

John 15:9-17

Jesus said to his disciples, “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”

The Daily Path:It was not you who chose me…

Looking back on my re-conversion it was indeed God who called out to me, not the other way around. Left to my own making I would still be a slave to the wrong path. I’m reminded that we are called when we can open ourselves to receive the message. Experience shows me it is often times of despair or upheaval, when we come to realize that “our way” doesn’t work, that we can suddenly hear God. Many try to rationalize this knock at their door as being anything but what it truly is: an invitation to accept the greatest love of all.

This I command you: love one another.

What appears to be the easiest assignment issued by Christ is also the hardest. I think of how many times a day I fail. Anger. Gossip. Intentional ignorance. One moment we’re performing an act of love or charity, with love fresh in our mind. Then within minutes that same love is put to the test with the smallest challenge. And what happens? Trip. Crash. Fail.

I’ve come to see that many times within short proximity to feeling most connected to God is when Satan swings into action against me by throwing another hurdle in the path to trip me up. I suppose that should be a sign that I’m doing good because that old devil is pissed off. Hmm. I wonder if I can remember that before I get tripped up again?

Room to Chat: Lord, help me piss off Satan today by embracing your commandment of love. Let me move beyond the anger. Help me ignore the gossip trap. Give me strength to place my ego behind me. Keep love in the forefront of my thoughts.

Throwing Rocks At Jesus – Good News for April 2

2 04 2009

So they picked up stones to throw at him…

John 8:51-59

Jesus said to the Jews, “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.”  So the Jews said to him, “Now we are sure that you are possessed. Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? Or the prophets, who died? Who do you make yourself out to be?” 

Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing; but it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ You do not know him, but I know him. And if I should say that I do not know him, I would be like you a liar. But I do know him and I keep his word. Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.” 

So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.” So they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.

The Daily Path: While I have never intended to pick up a stone and throw it at Jesus, there have been times when I’ve thrown stones at others. Anger. Verbal attacks. Gossip. Hurtful acts. Until now, I’ve never looked at these “stonings” as being directed at God. But of course, they are. For He is the Father who lives within the targets of my assault. 

This is the first time I’ve read this passage from John, and I’m glad that I did.

Room to Chat: As you experience some joy in your day, please ask God to extend some of that grace all the way to Michael. (See Room to Chat: Come Out – Good News for March 29)