Friday, October 20, 2017

Getting Much Closer to One Another (Love)

As Christians, we are called each day by Jesus to join him on the narrow and difficult path of freedom. It is on that path alone that he calls us each day to share his truth, love, and vitality with all others without condition just as he shares them with us.
Speaking of love, at his last supper with his disciples before his crucifixion, Jesus said to them, A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35, New King James Version, here and following).
     As I have loved you: now that’s a hard and scary thought. We do well always to remember this love which Jesus has for us. The apostle Paul described the love which we are to have for one another in this way (Romans 5:6-9):

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

The hard and scary call: we are to share with one another what might be described as enemy love; in other words, a radical commitment to nurture and protect others despite any unworthiness, ingratitude, or hostility on their part toward us.
Of this love, Fyodor Dostoyevsky rightly said, “Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams” (The Brothers Karamazov). William Miller aptly gave his book about Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement the title, A Harsh and Dreadful Love.
We rarely see this love in our sadly Olympian churches. In general, they’ve become nothing more than loose associations of individuals joined if at all by a quite different spirit to attain quite dissimilar goals.
The hard and scary call: Jesus Christ wants you and me to join with one to eleven local others to form with him a prophetic mission group. Yes, he wants us as a group to get much closer to the land and to one another (in terms of geographical proximity). But he especially wants us to witness to his love for us by sharing that same love with the other members of our group as we get much closer to the land and one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples.

Copyright © 2017 by Steven Farsaci.
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.