Jesus’ Commandment: To Love One Another
by: Mothers Barb Martzall and Myrella LeClair
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35 (New King James Version)
It is disheartening to notice just how many Christians and Christian Churches seem to forget Jesus’ main commandment to all whom profess to be believers in Christ. To be a believer in Christ, you must believe in His message of Love, Forgiveness, and Mercy.
What is it about loving one another that we do not understand? Sadly, Christian Churches throughout the world still have not learned to stand together as followers of Jesus Christ but instead teach divisiveness, intolerance -- even outright hatred of those whose theological views differ from their own Christian religious beliefs. Jesus ministered to all who listened to His call and followed Him. Yet, some Christian churches even regulate who can or cannot join -- in other words, whom of God’s children they will serve. That is not what Jesus taught right from the very beginning of his ministry. Remember, he selected a tax collector as an apostle. He ministered to the Samaritan woman. He ministered to the sick, lame, and poor. Never did he turn his back on anyone. So, why have so many Christian churches elected to turn their backs of those seeking Jesus? Why are they selective as to whom they will serve -- to the point of withholding the Sacraments -- especially Communion? Serving the Body and Blood of Christ to a sinner is an expression of Christ’s Message: His unconditional love for all! That is why in our Church, all are welcome to receive the Body and Blood of Christ at the Lord’s Table.
"Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." Luke 6:37 (New King James Version)
When looking at the web site stats to find out who is visiting some of our Church’s web sites, we came across the usual mocking of the church because of our beliefs and rules. We dare to ordain and consecrate women. We dare to open our churches to those who are seeking Jesus. We dare to serve in this world the way Jesus called us to serve. If that opens us to mockery or to being called heretics, so be it! In our Church, clergy and congregants work together to offer Christ’s unconditional Love to all whom God sends to us. Let the other self-proclaimed "true" Christian Churches search their collective hearts and minds to discern whom and what they are serving.
As for us, we as clergy are willing to serve people in a manner that they understand and are comfortable with to bring them home to Jesus. Other Christian churches can laugh at, criticize, and condemn us for our choice of religious garb, our Canons, and our beliefs. Their ridicule does not matter for Christ taught us to: "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you." Luke 6:27-28 (New King James Version)
Each Christian church has a mission to fulfill in this world, and that is to bring people to Jesus through Unconditional Love. Many of the people we serve have been judged "unworthy sinners" by their previous Churches. Just as Christ did during his ministry, we will gather those spiritual refugees and offer them the Sacraments so that they may be healed and made Disciples of Christ.
May the Peace of Christ be with all of you.