Love one another
" I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another."
- I hate this situation - a famous, even central passage among the readings
- It is much easier to preach on one of the other lessons
- Now I have to come up with a way to make you think again about this, and there have been lots of very skillful preachers working on this for years!
- So why did I not just do something else?
- Because it is simply too important to ignore
The Visit of the Old Lady
- The Vist of the Old Lady - Friedrick Durrenmatt
- Set in the town of Guellen, somewhere in Europe
- Trains go through
- The Flying Dutchman stops
- Claire Zachnassian
- Anton - a respectable townsman, seduced her years ago
- Abandoned her, became a prostitute - married a millionaire
- Now comes for revenge with a coffin
Kill him, and I will make the town rich
["The world made me into a whore; now I will make the world a whorehouse"]
Bit by bit, the town buys into it, including his own family
Finally, he is killed - the doctor says "Heart attack"
The mayor says "He died of joy"
The trains stop, and the town is happy
Sisters of St. Agnes
- Sr Rene is a CSA nun ( Community of St. Agnes)
- The founding mother was Sr. Agnes - founded in Wisconsin
- details +++
- There was a Sister in the early years who was Sr. Agnes' best friend and confidant
- Spread some kind of rumors about her
- Ecclesiastical court trial
- Agnes was exonerated, and the other nun was expelled
- Years later, this same woman asked to be readmitted to the order
- Sr. Agnes agreed, but changed her professed name and moved her to a different community so that no one would know of the history
- Although they have many of Sr. Agnes' papers and letters, no one knows what the rumors were about.
- A glaring contrast in the handling of two injustices
- I deliberately chose a fictional one for the negative one
- I have scores of true ones that I cannot tell
- Good life stories are not as easy to come by, especially at the jail
- Important to look at where we are in the Gospel
- The request by the Gentiles
- The Footwashing and the Last Supper
- Judas has just left
- "Now is the Son of Man glorified" - tenses are shifting
- Farewell Discourses
- Better phrased for us
- Little children
- Where I am going - different than when he spoke to the Jews
- Did not say, as he did to the Jews, "you will not find me"
- The disciples will find him, but not immediately
- Love one another - not new
- Love your neighbor as yourself- Lev.19:18
- Not even as Jesus redefined neighbor in Luke 10:29-37
- But "As I have loved you!!"
- John 15.13
Flesh it out
- Do you think that the death of Jesus was an accident? A unpleasant happenstance?
- The Romans didn't care, for the most part, about Jesus' activities
- They were even distantly interested in what He was saying
- The Pharisees really had to work to get them interested and have Him condemned
- Remember who the Pharisees were
- They were "good people"
- They were the townspeople in Durrenmatt's play
- They were the German Christians when Hitler came to power before WWII
- I won't go any further
- Jesus asks us to heed his new commandment as a new way of life
- Not seeking revenge, redress, justice
- Not even the Golden Rule - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"
- Could almost rewrite the Golden Rule to "Do unto others as no one expects to be done unto, because it is too good to hope for"
- Paul put it very succintly: "But God proves his love for us in that while we still sinners Christ died for us." (Rom. 5.8)
- You already knew that, didn't you?
- Here's the kicker - Jesus did not intend for his sacrifice to be a spectacular marvel to be admired from a distance
- He expected his disciples to imitate him in the role of the Suffering Servant for the sake of others
- That is the way Paul and the other apostles saw it as well
- That is too hard - too much to ask!
- It is too hard, especially if you try to do it by yourself
- That is why he sent the Holy Spirit, and why we need the church
- We cannot do it alone
- How can we expect people to be willing to do that?
- Consider this:
- No one thinks a thing of it when someone goes off to the jungles and the bugs and diseases in the Peace Corps
- No one is suprised when sevicemen die for each other in combat
- Even street gangs claim life and death loyalty
- So let's get going
- You don't have to go into the jungles or overseas
- You can do it right here, as they say, in the privacy of your own home