West Union United Methodist Church
Monday, June 24, 2019
Luke 10:27

Pastor's Corner



  Consider This… From Chris

Shortly before his suffering and crucifixion, Jesus gave his disciples a simple instruction.  Not a suggestion, not an optional way of being, but a command.  “Love one another, as I have loved you.”  The setting for that command, in John’s gospel, is that Judas had just left to betray Jesus, and in that betrayal Jesus recognized the glory of God at work.  He did not say, “Well, that’s the end of that idea.  Let’s fight!”  It was an opportunity to show that God was not finished with us, that evil does not prevail even, and especially, when life looks dark and hopeless.

In the face of evil, hatred, violence, betrayal, fear and mistrust, we have an option on how we will respond.  In this time of uncertainty, open racism and political hostility, both in our country and sometimes in our churches, Jesus command to love should be ringing loud in our ears.

“As I have loved you.”  Jesus loved by eating with the sinners and the outcasts.  He loved by touching and healing those people who were considered untouchable. He loved by feeding the hungry, both with food and with compassion.  He loved by reaching beyond “his own people” to the ones who were hated or at best ignored.  He loved by sharing bread with his betrayer, and with those who would later deny him. Jesus loved by giving his life for the world.          

“As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.”  Love, as Jesus demonstrated, is not about warm feelings, smiles and hugs, all of which are wonderful to give and receive.  Love is about the way we care for one another, treat one another with the dignity that all human beings deserve.  It means recognizing that every person you meet is carrying some kind of burden, and you might be one who can share some kindness with them.

Who are the ones in your life who need your love?  Perhaps you can just start with the persons closest to you, family and friends, and ask God to help you see them in the way God sees them.  Perhaps there is someone you will meet today who is experiencing a difficult day, and you can give them a smile of encouragement, a word of gratitude, or a helping hand.  Perhaps you know someone who is in the midst of grief, or abuse, or confusion, and you can offer to walk with them for a time.   

Dark times, times of anger, fear and uncertainty, cannot be overcome by more anger and violence, but only by the light of God’s love, as expressed by Jesus, and by God’s love expressed through your life.  Love, as Christ has loved you.