A new commandment I give 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 ave love for one another. (John 13: 34,35)
We are called to love one another, for Jesus has set the perfect example. This love is selfless, forgiving, humble, and persistent. However, it is simpler said than done. God wants us to desire such love and strive to live it out. Then, our compassionate behaviors and our caring words will show Jesus to people around us. Let us pray for the strength to actualize the new commandment, so that the world can see Jesus in us.
Love is patient and kind. A selfless love is perfectly embodied by Jesus, who sacrifices himself on the cross. Such a selfless love comes from his pure motif that is solely based on the heavenly
Father’s command. While Jesus has the power to resist, he did not consider His own gain or loss before going to the cross. He did not put himself in the center when obeying His father. Jesus laid
down himself for the world, as a humble sacrifice to atone our sins. Who else could have a clearer conscience than Jesus? Given Jesus as our perfect model, we should examine our heart
whether we love others out of our selfish motives. Because the capitalistic society resent the idea of free-giving, it is difficult for us to love others without thinking about our own gain. Perhaps
we have superficially loved the church community by volunteering, but God searches our heart. While others may only see our apparently fervent service, God knows what goes on in our mind.
We cannot hide our conscience from Him. Thus, pray for a love with clear and selfless motive.
Love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. There are countless examples in the Bible that show Jesus’ humility, but there is no one like his washing the disciples’ feet that demonstrates the full action of a humble love. We ought to serve as Jesus serves. Such humility means to love others by understanding others’ situation and show compassion toward them.
Laugh with those who laugh and weep with those who weep. Adding on to the selfless love, we love because God loves us first, not because of our own merit or our ability. When we have the
ability to help and serve, we should do it as a response to Jesus’ humble service to us. We can put this into practice by caring for our peers at school, at work, and have more consideration toward
our family members, especially those who have not come to Christ. Pray for a love that reflects Jesus’ humility. Let people see the difference in our love that is genuine and not boastful, that is
effective but not forceful.
Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Tempted, we might get into fights with people and even
have resent against people that our hearts oppose. However, Jesus tells to forgive and forget. Since we are all imperfect, instead of remembering others’ faults in the church, we should help each other to the combat sins so that we can grow in holiness. This seems overwhelming if we are doing it out of human capacity. We are prone to hatred. We are easily influenced by the world’s comments to continue in those mindsets. Jesus tells us to surpass human standard, overcoming our weakness to love the unlikable, to forgive the unforgivable, and reconcile with them as we reconcile with God. This should be a lifelong lesson for all ages. Let us pray for a heart of forgiveness which would enable us to love that overcomes the hate in the world.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. Last but not least, the true love that Jesus commands us sprouts from our faith in Him. While relying on the changeable world can discourage us and our love for others seem to have no reciprocal rewards, Jesus tells us to take heart and have faith. While there are times we feel helpless to continue to love somebody, let us lift that person to Jesus who can give us comfort and empower us to love with persistence. The biggest difference between the love of Christ from other religion is that it is everlasting. His love never fails. He never gives up. Thus, our prayer to gain a persistent love should surpass human emotion and worldly perception.
Sermon Reflection 2018/1/21