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CALL TO WORSHIP: Come let us share the love of the living God for it is a living love!
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Scripture of the day: Gospel: John 14:15-21
Meditation: If you Love me, so what! John quotes Jesus, “If you love me, keep my commands.” The psalmist says, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! Peter asks the question, Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? The Apostle Paul in his speech says, “‘For in him we live and move and have our being.” There is a logic to this thing called loving Jesus. There is a beauty to this thing called following Jesus. There is a consistency to this thing called following Jesus. There is an open “ended-ness” to this thing called walking with Jesus. If you love me keep my commands. If you love me, so what? Take time for a moment and think about the people who have loved you. We are a part of many circles of people. Think of the time when you were sitting across the table from someone and they were giggling. They were recounting a story about you. They were not laughing at you, they were able to look past your faults, even your strengths and they were relating a story about you. Everyone at the table knew the two of you had shared intimately one special moment. If you love me keep my commands! It is a love that crosses all boundaries and is not based on actions so much as a sense of acceptance and oneness. It is a love that comes easily and flows from and through you. There is a beauty to this thing called following Jesus. Windows and doorways are added to the walls that separate people. As you step out into the freshness of the day there is freedom to reach out and hug someone. I was reminded by a friend, “did you know that a twenty-second hug releases the bonding hormone and neurotransmitter, oxytocin, which is nature’s antidepressant and anti-anxiety hormone?” This naturalness to forget yourself, if even for a moment opens each of us to receive from one another is a reflection of what Jesus suggests, if you love me-do something! My commands, my words, my teachings are about love. Loving God is never separated from loving our neighbor! Loving our neighbor is never divorced from having shown love for God! There is a consistency about this thing called love! You are sitting there and a warm thought crosses your mind. Totally out of nowhere you have this special thought. You think of someone and you remember them. You smile, you know the only way for today to make a difference is for you to do something. You reach for the telephone, you write a note, you get in your car and you drive to them, something compels you to act and what you do transforms you because you know it is not you it is the love of Christ living through you. You are overwhelmed, a tear comes to your eye because you know that in loving another you are experiencing love yourself. There is an open ended-ness to walking with Jesus because you know the more you experience it the more you want it. The walls, the barriers all come down. The direction of your life is redefined. Today, in the Church Calendar, is known as Ascension Day. It is a moment of freedom so powerful that words cannot express it. Jesus, upon dying then rose from the dead. Jesus then ministered and taught the disciples about the work of the kingdom of God. Jesus then ascended to be with God. In leaving He encourages us to live beyond the “strapping” that hold us down. He encourages us not to be bound by just talking about love. He encourages us to “love.” amen.