the sixth sunday of easter
the PRAYER. . .
Almighty and ever-living God, you hold together all things in heaven and on earth. In your great mercy receive the prayers of all your children, and give to all the world the Spirit of your truth and peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
the READING. . .
[Jesus said to the disciples:] “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
the DEVOTION. . .
It all seems pretty straightforward. Simple. To the point. “If you love me, you’ll keep my commandments.” If you love me, you’ll do what I tell you! Of course, in our minds, it goes without saying … the harder we try, the better we do, obviously, the more we love!
However, love doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t begin with us. It’s not our decision. It’s not our believing. It’s not our keeping. Love begins with Jesus. Begins the night in which he was betrayed. Begins when he gets up from the table and takes off his outer robe. Begins when he ties on a towel and fills the basin. Love begins when Jesus washes the feet of his friends. Love begins with Jesus. His love inspiring us, moving us.
After all, if we could keep his commandments, we wouldn’t need Jesus! We’d be able to save ourselves! Do better! Try harder! But we don’t. And won’t. So Jesus does. He comes to us. Kneels before us. And loves us. Not just on one night of the year, but over and over, again and again, time after time after time. Jesus loves us. And that makes all the difference!
Bob Barndt, pastor