Scripture Readings: Acts 10:25-26, 34-35 1 John 4:7-10 John 15:9-17
A Protestant Theologian by the name of Karl Barth is often considered the greatest theologian of the 20th Century.
He exercised great influence on most of the theologians for his day, with last names like: Bonhoffer; Neibuhr, Moltmann and Updike. Barth even opposed Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Regime.
He even wrote on the most profound works of Systematic Theology – the 13 Volume work: Church Dogmatics.
Well, the story is told about an occasion when Karl Barth was asked, “What is the most profound thought that every entered your mind?”
After a brief reflection, Barth replied, “the most profound thought I have ever known is the simple truth, ‘Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.’”
Indeed each of our readings this weekend imparts the same simple truth, “God loves us; Jesus loves us.”
One of the most profound signs of God’s love for us is the fact that God – Jesus – died for us out of love.
Love is who we are and how we are to be, in relationship with God and with one another…
As friends of God we put God first by putting others before ourselves. This is laying down our lives for our friends.
Jesus was willing to die for us. Are we willing to LIVE for others? How do we live for others, how do we love others?
We are asked daily, directly and indirectly, to live our love for others by being present to another person be they family member, friends, neighbor, fellow parishioner, even stranger… every day.
We are asked daily directly and indirectly to assist others in an ongoing way of service or ministry in our community, in our school, in our church.
We are asked daily directly and indirectly to share a portion of our time, talent and money, so that others will come to know and experience the God of care and love.
For sure these questions, among many questions, are not just answered with a yes or no, because we realize how important our positive response in action is needed. How our love in action is necessary.
God’s act of sending Jesus Christ into the world reveals what love is.
And, this will always be true. But, we too, the Disciples of Jesus today are also being asked to reveal God’s love to others daily through our love in action.
To quote a saying of some years ago that Bishop Scharfenberger shared at Confirmation this past Thursday, “You may be the only Christ that others meet.”
May it be the Christ of unconditional life, love and mercy!