NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, MAY 14, 2023
This Sunday is the Sixth Sunday of Easter, but it is also Mother’s Day. So, Happy Mother’s Day, to all of the moms and those serving in maternal roles.
This week’s assigned gospel reading from John 14 begins with “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” It ends with “They who have My commandments and keep Them are those who love Me. In other words, “If You Love Me … Show It.”
Billy D. Strayhorn tells the story about a seven-year-old granddaughter who said to her grandfather, “In this family we are kind of serious about God, aren’t we?” Grandpa said, “Yes, we sure are.” And the little girl asked, “Why?” Grandpa wrapped the little girl in his arms, hugged her real close and said, “So that I can hug you and tickle you and try to tell you how much I love you and how glad I am that God gave you to us.” The little girl grinned and said, “That’s cool.”
Strayhorn then accurately notes “I’m not sure that hugging and tickling everybody we meet would go over very well. They might come and put us in one of those jackets with the buckles and long sleeves and lock us in a rubber room. However, we are supposed to figure out how to show that love to everyone we meet. The love we have experienced through Christ is supposed to be shared.”
Scriptures like the assigned text makes me more convinced than ever, this nasty edge we see in American Christianity that seeks to demonize and criticize others who are different is exactly the opposite of what the great commandments are that Jesus identified.
Loving God and loving others and sharing our love for everyone is how we keep Jesus’ commandments. After all, a summary of the assigned text is “If you love me … Show it!”
Join us for worship this Mother’s Day, in-person, by Zoom or Facebook Livestream. My sermon is “If You Love Me … Show it! It’s based on John 14:15-21.