“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”
As children grow up, they quickly pick up the difference between suggestions and rules that they’re supposed to follow. For example, as a child, my parents would often share their wisdom when it came to things like navigating friendships, figuring out much to study for a certain test, or which sports I should play. In these instances, I understood that my parent’s advice was suggestions that I was free to heed or ignore.
But within my family, it was also clear that certain things weren’t up for debate and that I was obligated to do (or not do) regardless of my desires. So, for instance, completing my homework, doing weekly chores, and going to bed at certain times were all non-negotiables that I was compelled to follow (unless, of course, I was okay with being grounded).
In this week’s gospel lectionary passage, Jesus shares with His disciples that they are called to love one another as disciples of Christ. It’s interesting to note that in this teaching, Jesus doesn’t say “A new suggestion I give you” or “A new teaching I give you.” Rather, Jesus says, “A new command I give you.”
That word command reminds us that loving others out of faithfulness towards Christ is not a suggestion that we can choose to heed or ignore. Instead, love is a non-negotiable demand that Christ has placed upon our lives as Christians.
Friends, Jesus wants us to remember that in the Kingdom of God and in the path of discipleship, loving others is not a suggestion. It’s a requirement.
International Cuisine Night:
The popular culinary event is coming back after a long hiatus! In the spirit of celebrating our diverse church family and the season of Pentecost, we are inviting you to sign up to prepare and serve samples of a dish honoring the country of your heritage or any country of your choosing.
As an international “chef,” you will prepare enough of your recipe for about 50 sample-sized servings to allow for everyone to try it. Guests will have a unique and delicious dining experience in addition to enjoying our warm hospitality.
As in all previous years, there is no charge for this event but we will advertise a free-will donation. All profits will benefit Ukraine refugees. Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 4th from 5 – 7 p.m. and fill out the sign-up sheet in the back of the sanctuary. Help us bring back this event back with gusto!
Coffee Hour Starting Back-Up: May 22
On Sunday, May 22nd, our church will be starting coffee hour in the Fellowship Hall. For the time being, and throughout the summer, we will only be serving coffee, but we plan to resume serving food after Labor Day weekend. If you are interested in helping serve in this ministry, please connect with Grace Espeut.
Next Leadership Council Meeting
Our next Leadership Council meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, May 17th at 6:30 pm in the A-Wing basement. All are welcome to join!