Submitted by Jan on Tue, 23/04/2013 – 10:44
Year C (2012-2013)
Bible Book: John / Johannes
Chapter: 13
Verse: 31 – 35

In vs 34 and 35 Jesus emphasises a “new” command, although love for each other had always been part of God’s command.

Why does Jesus then speak of a “new command”? The love Jesus shows is indeed new. Jesus’ love is great, unconditional and uncompromising and that’s what he expects of us towards one another.

The conditional love of this world would say: “What do I get out of this?” The focus is “tit for tat.” Even in the Church today people are selective of who they interact with. Agape love is often just talk in the church. Yet when Jesus is addressing us through this text today, he makes it clear that he has a message for us “to love one another”.

Today when I was passing by the market place in Bulawayo, the second capital city of Zimbabwe, I saw a man who seemed to be sick, with two young children. One seemed to be less than one year old and the other one less than two years – all looked sick. My heart sank and filled with pain as I saw them walk through the crowd, bare footed, looking exhausted and hungry. The million dollar question that came to me is; ‘Where is the Church!’ What is the role of the church in situations such as this?

What touched me about the man in the marketplace was that, while the need seemed to be so clear, the rest of the people just saw it as normal. I definitely do not say this person should be stigmatised, I am advocating for Agape love! Where is the Agape love, the embracing spirit of community? Does John 13 vs 34 still mean anything to us?

Thinking about this incident, I find myself singing the song; “Love is not love till you give it away”.

To think about:

What is the role of the Church in such a time of pain and suffering?
If love is the ‘greatest of them all’, what is the challenge for us?
Does the above story and outlined scripture mean something to you?
Written by: Karl Malotane, Bulawayo

Author: Malotane K. (Mr)
Language: English

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