“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”John 13:34-35
Oh those rascals at biblegateway.com throw one of those “LOVE” passages at us on Valentines Day!
On this day of love, we hear from Jesus about a new commandment. Yet, is it really all that new of a commandment?
In the Hebrew Scriptures, the covenant with “42” is to love him with all of our heart, soul, and muchness, abundance, resources, etc. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5) But it also calls us to love our neighbor as we would wish to be loved if the roles were reversed. (Leviticus 19:9-18) Neither of these commandments were new, and in fact were around at least 1500 years before Jesus’ time, but they might have well have been because they seem to have forgotten.
The same holds true for us. In a time of extreme narcissism and power grabs, where people are torn down in order to lift others up, and when we seek to redefine morality and ethics as if we were the creators of life, the universe, and everything, we need a swift kick in the pants to remind us. We have the attention span of a cat when it comes to remembering what God wills for us.
So on this day of LOVE, I remind you (and me) to live God with all you are, and love one another as we wished to be loved. Live with the radical Jesus LOVE of his outstretched arms…