23 April 2016

LOVE: THE MARK OF A CHRISTIAN

V SUNDAY OF EASTER
acts 14:21-27; revelation 21:1-5a; john 13:31-33a, 34-35

the renowned artist paul gustave dore lost his passport while travelling in europe. he hoped the guards at the border crossing would recognize him and allow him through. the guard, however, said that many people attempted to cross by claiming to be persons they were not. dore insisted that he was the man he claimed to be. said the official: «all right, we’ll give you a test, and if you pass it we’ll allow you to go through.» handing him a pencil and a sheet of paper, he told the artist to sketch several peasants standing nearby. dore did it so quickly and skilfully that the guard was convinced he was indeed who he claimed to be. 
his actions confirmed his identity.

what is the «test» of a christian? 
in his farewell discourse to his disciples, JESUS gives them an identification mark… not external habits and uniforms; not the way we dress; but the way we live: «i give you a new commandment, that you love one another. just as i have loved you, you also should love one another. by this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another» (john 13:34-35). love is the christian identification mark. 


note that the LORD’s command is not that we «like» one another. the love of which JESUS speaks is not an emotion; it is a decision a way of acting towards one another that says: «no matter what, i wish/will good for you.» in the christian sense, love is not a feeling word; it is an action word… it is a verb!
a second thing to note: JESUS also gives us a standard to measure this love: «as i have loved you.» that is a broad and lofty standard indeed! 

SUNDAY SNIPPETS: EASTER SUNDAY V
LOVE: THE MARK OF A CHRISTIAN!
acts 14:21-27; revelation 21:1-5a; john 13:31-33a, 34-35
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/042416.cfm

the renowned artist paul gustave dore lost his passport while travelling in europe. he hoped the guards at the border crossing would recognize him and allow him through. the guard, however, said that many people attempted to cross by claiming to be persons they were not. dore insisted that he was the man he claimed to be. said the official: «all right, we’ll give you a test, and if you pass it we’ll allow you to go through.» handing him a pencil and a sheet of paper, he told the artist to sketch several peasants standing nearby. dore did it so quickly and skilfully that the guard was convinced he was indeed who he claimed to be. 
his actions confirmed his identity.

what is the «test» of a christian? 
in his farewell discourse to his disciples, JESUS gives them an identification mark… not external habits and uniforms; not the way we dress; but the way we live: «i give you a new commandment, that you love one another. just as i have loved you, you also should love one another. by this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another» (john 13:34-35). love is the christian identification mark. 

note carefully that the LORD’s command is not that we «like» one another. the love of which JESUS speaks is not an emotion; it is a decision... a way of acting towards one another that says, «no matter what, i wish/will good for you.» in the christian sense, love is not a feeling word; it is an action word.
a second thing to note: JESUS also gives us a standard to measure this love: «as i have loved you.» that is a broad and lofty standard indeed! 

how am i going to love those around me… in my family and in my community… as JESUS loved me? do i bear the christian identification mark?