The Sixth Sunday of Easter. “Coming to You.”
[Jesus said to his disciples:] “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
“I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”
Jesus does not abandon his followers. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus comes to abide with his disciples of every generation. As Pentecost draws near, we are reminded that the risen Christ dwells in us as the Spirit of truth. We receive this Spirit in baptism and pray that in our gathering around the Lord’s table the Spirit will transform us to be the body of the risen Christ in the world.
Jesus made this statement: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” How can we live out Jesus’ love?
The American philosopher, political activist, social critic, actor, and public intellectual Cornel West is the grandson of a Baptist minister. He focuses on the role of race, gender, and class in American society and the ways by which people act and react to their “radical conditionedness.” According to West, “Justice in what love looks like in public.”
Holocaust survivor, author, and 1986 Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel wrote this: “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”
Some hold the old cliche, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry,” as truth about love. Love as a verb reflects the idea that love is action—demonstrated and realized. The Beatles told us, “All we need is love. Love is all we need.” An established doctrine of the Christian faith asserts that God is love.” That’s good news.
Jesus spoke on love extensively and strongly. When asked to identify the greatest commandment, Jesus did not choose one. He distilled them all into one with two parts: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.
How do we demonstrate love for our Triune God? First Congregational United Church of Christ in Sioux City very definitely shows love for God as we eagerly share time, money, and other resources with our neighbors. Thank you!