Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of March 30, 2003
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here
is a meditation from 'The Road to Emmaus,' a book of
daily meditations written by and for the LGBT community
of faith. These meditations start with a Gospel reading
and a meditation based on it written this week by the
Rev. Carolyn 'Dusty' Pruitt.
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Please read John 15:12-27
Love One Another
The early Christian church was renowned for its love.
People seemed drawn toward Christianity, not because
its followers had superior philosophical insights, but
because of the love they showed toward each other.
Jesus says in today's passage, 'This I command you, to
love one another.' But how do we do this? So many of
us have found this passage, and many similar ones in
the New Testament, almost impossible to understand, let
alone to obey. How can we feel warmly about people,
including some of our brothers and sisters, who just
don't arouse that feeling in us, some of whom, indeed,
we just plain don't even like? It's frustrating!
Strangely enough, a careful reading of the New Testament
gives a clue to the answer. For one thing, it becomes
clear that even Jesus himself often didn't show any
warmth of feeling toward those whom he said he loved.
If his use of the word didn't have to imply warm
feelings, what is the meaning of agape, the Greek word
which underlies the term 'love,' as Jesus uses it here?
Agape, as used in all but a few places in the New
Testament, means 'love of the other person for the
sake of the other person,' a meaning for which we have
no equivalent in English. To love, in the sense of
agape, doesn't require me to have the kind of warm
feelings that we usually associate with 'love.' All
that it requires is that I act in a caring way, a way
that clearly shows my real concern for the other
Surely, I can act this way no matter how I feel about
the other person. It is simply a matter of doing it.
Jesus, help me to practice your kind of agape love for
other people, to simply act in a caring way, no matter
what my feelings about it may be. Amen.
Grace and peace,
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