“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
There is an old hymn that goes something like this; “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so…” It is comforting that in our opinion-laced, judgment-centered world that Jesus offers each of us something that is in short supply; grace. Jesus wanted to let his disciples know that they are not servants or employees that clock in and clock out, rather they are friends that are cherished and beloved. The gift of friendship Jesus shares with us allows us to be ourselves around God, to unwind and bear our heart and soul to the One that redeems us and calls us God’s own. “O what a friend we have in Jesus….” As Jesus reaches out to us and gathers us in, we are called to witness the same grace as Jesus offers to us. God knows people need someone who they know cares and is invested in them, just for being who they are or where they find themselves. Grace is all about truly being invested in the well-being of somebody else. You are needed by someone because you are needed by God to share the Good News of Jesus Christ that offers grace upon grace no matter the circumstance or your opinion of how a person should be, look like, or how they may dress. Jesus was far more concerned about people then programs, procedures, or decorum; more concerned about their needs than socio-economic status, academic achievement, political affiliation or neighborhood in which they live. The love of God transcends the judgment of others and offers friendship; the last breath of Jesus hanging on the cross befriended a criminal who was hanging next to him. You are needed by God to share the grace of God with all of God’s people. Jesus defines us as “friends” because we are needed by him. You are needed because somebody else just needs a break and understanding that they are not alone in this life and in the life to come; you need to let them know, for the love of God…. Thank you Jesus for the privilege to serve.