A New Commandment
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. - John 13:14-15, NRSV
Testing Jesus, they had asked, "What is the greatest commandment?" With over 600 commandments from the Books of the Law to choose from, it was a tough question. Jesus' response summed up the Law well: "Love God with all that is within you, and love your neighbor as yourself." On the Thursday before his death and Resurrection, Jesus shared a final meal with his disciples. As they ate and sang together, Jesus shared his parting words of wisdom with those gathered around him. Before they left the meal, he took the opportunity to give them a new commandment: "Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another."
Did Jesus realize that asking us to love each other as we love ourselves is too low a bar to set for us? So often, what we do to ourselves and the pain and suffering we cause in our own lives are no sign that we truly love even ourselves. Did Jesus fear that we would forget his parable about the good Samaritan and begin to limit who we think of as our neighbors? It's an easy and slippery slope to fall down as we make excuses why someone doesn't deserve our love. Whatever his motivation, Jesus took one of the last moments to remind us of the importance of loving one another and to set the bar even higher for us. Today, may we feel the deep love that God has for us in Christ Jesus and strive to show that love to each other to the glory of God!
Join us tonight at 7 pm as we remember Jesus' last meal with his disciples. We will reflect on the meaning of Jesus' washing of the his disciples' feet for us today as God pours out blessings upon us. As we close, you may have your feet washed if you feel so led, and then we will celebrate communion together.
Good Friday Services
Tomorrow, we will gather for a prayer walk in the village at noon. We will pray for our community as we walk around the village. Meet at the church at noon. In case of rain, we will gather in the sanctuary for a time of prayer.
At 7 pm, we will gather in the sanctuary for a healing service. Bring your burdens and concerns, and be anointed by God's healing.
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!