Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit.” John 15:16
your Son has chosen us
and called us to be his friends:
give us grace to keep his commandments,
to love one another,
and to bear fruit which will abide;
through him who is the true vine,
the source of all our life,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- Acts 10:44-48
- Psalm 98
- 1 John 5:1-12
- John 15:9-17
- Acts 1:15-17, 21-26
- Psalm 1
- 1 John 5:9-13
- John 17:6-19
A Thought to Ponder
Easter 6 – John 15:9-17
“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.
“I do not call you servants any longer … but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father.”
Chapters 13 through 17 of John’s Gospel, Jesus’ Last Supper discourse, might be described as Jesus’ last will and testament to his fledgling church.
Continuing last Sunday’s theme of the vine and branches, Jesus speaks of the love of God as the bonding agent of the new Israel. The model of love for the faithful disciple – “to love one another as I have loved you” – is extreme, limitless, and unconditional. The love manifested in the Gospel and the resurrection of Christ creates an entirely new relationship between God and humanity. Again Christ, the obedient Servant Redeemer, is the great “connector” between God and us.
In Christ, we are not “slaves” of a distant divine Creator but “friends” of God who hears the prayers and cries made to him in Jesus’ name. As “friends of God,” we are called to reflect that love to the rest of the world.
This is the commandment that Jesus gave to us who would be his Church: to love one another as Jesus, God made human, has loved us: As Christ gave himself for others, we are to imitate his example of service to others; as Christ brought healing and peace into the lives of those he encountered, we are to bring that same healing and peace into the many lives we touch; as Christ revealed to the world a God who loves humanity as a parent loves his children, we are to love one another as brothers and sisters.
Christ transforms creation’s relationship with its Creator. God is not the distant, aloof, removed architect of the universe; God is not the cruel taskmaster; God is not the unfeeling judge who seeks the destruction of the wicked. God is creative, reconciling, energising love — and Jesus is the perfect expression of that love.
All that God has done in the first creation of Genesis and the re-creation of Easter has been done out of the limitless, unfathomable love of God. Such love invites us not to fear God but to accept his “friendship” with God, not to self-loathing at our unworthiness but to grateful joy at what God has done in us.
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