Today is the day on the church calendar when we pause and reflect on the Last Supper, and the last words of Jesus to His disciples.
A year’s worth of sermons is contained in John 13-17 but this week I have been drawn to just one verse:
[Jesus said] “Now I am giving you a new command—love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you must love one another. This is how all men will know that you are my disciples, because you have such love for one another.” John 13:34 PHILLIPS
The Israelites were given circumcision as the sign of the covenant. The shedding of blood as the mark of belonging.
But Jesus knew His blood would be the final and complete sacrifice required for sin. He knew the debt would be fully paid. And blood would no longer be required.
So a new mark is given, a new seal is declared: LOVE will be the designation by which others know who belongs to the Father through Christ, His Son.
I look around, and see how far we have fallen from the example and standard Jesus set for those of us who follow Him.
How we are known, not for our love for one another, not for our service to one another, not for our care for one another– but for our divisiveness, our competitive nature, our exclusion, our anger.
Jesus died to make us free from the penalty of sin and death. But He LIVED to give us an example for LIFE.
Jesus washed the disciples’ feet-He took on a task that was considered the lowest, the most degrading household job and did it with love.
If this is how my Master served, what job can be too menial for me? What task can be too humbling for me?
The One in Whom all is held together, held the dirty feet of dirty men, who in just a few hours would desert Him.
I look forward to Heaven every day because part of my heart already lives there.
But as long as I am left on this earth, I want to live in love.
I want to reach out with the same heart that my Master has for the lost and hurting and lonely and outcast.
I want it to be obvious to Whom I belong.