May 25, 2003

John 15:9-17

"I've loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you'll remain intimately at home in my love. That's what I've done-kept my Father's commands and made myself at home in his love.

"I've told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I'm no longer calling you servants because servants don't understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I've named you friends because I've let you in on everything I've heard from the Father.

"You didn't choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won't spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.

"But remember the root command: Love one another.

[The Message]


1. And are you loving others the way GOD has loved you? How is it again that GOD has loved you? Is that very particularly driven by who you are? What particularity are you loving in others that is not a projection of your own experience?

This kind of loving goes beyond laws. It is a "home" experience where knowing something about another does make a difference in our response to them. It is not just three-strikes and you're out.

Wouldn't a sense of seventy times seven strikes come closer to knowing we are living in GOD's home? When such an infinite number really enters our consciousness we know we are not out to push that boundary, but its complement of zero. In this case it is not zero tolerance that eventually leads to changed behavior but infinite tolerance that leads to an instant of fullness of life.

2. This is not about a law that puts a frown of diligence on our face, but source of joy flowing from a mutuality of friendship.

3. Remember the root command: Love one another.