Monday, August 13, 2012
Scripture: John 15:18 (The Message)
"If you find the Godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me."
Remove the chapter and verse separations that we have added over the centuries, and this verse actually looks more at home read with the one before it. Jesus has instructed the disciples again about the importance of loving one another, and now carries that same idea into a teaching on how they are to live in the world after he is gone.
"...but remember the root command: 'Love one another. If you find the Godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me.'"
I wonder if they picked up on what he was really trying to tell them. In just a little while, at this point, he was going to be gone and they would be by themselves. He had called them to be something different than they were before, and after he was gone, their lives weren't going to be easy.
After watching how the crowds flocked to him, but how those in power despised him, they must have known it was going to be tough. Jesus is reminding them, and possibly even saying without actually saying, "Get ready. It's about to get ugly out there. You may have to depend on each other more now."
How much more could the Church do for the kingdom if we quit fighting among ourselves? That has bothered me from the very beginning of my ministry. I have had church board meetings that I had to shut down before they came to blows...and that's INSIDE the church. How on earth can churches like that expect to make a difference in a hate filled world when they can't even get along with each other?
God of us all, remind us that we are on the same team. Remind us that we don't always have to have our way. Remind us that we are called to be different. Love us when we have trouble loving each other, and send us out to show the world that there is another way. Amen.