United Methodist Church of Livonia, NY



“A new command I give you; Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another."   John 13: 34-35

In one sense the “new command” given by Jesus to his disciples, and that includes us, is an old one. In Leviticus 19:18 we find one of the decrees that the Lord gave Moses. God said, “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. “ I am the Lord.” For Jesus’ disciples, however, it was a new command because it was to be a distinctive mark of the Christian community, created by Christ to demonstrate his great love for them and in the present time for us.

Jesus’ ministry is drawing to a close and he is preparing his followers for his departure. By these words Jesus gives the marks and virtues that should characterize all of his disciples, including us. This is a command that makes Christianity unique. Think about it. One of the cornerstones of our faith is based on God’s love for us and our love for one another. Love is a basic tenet of Christianity. The fact that Jesus tells us to “love one another” is not a suggestion. One cannot live a Christian life without a personal commitment to love God and our neighbor. Paul said that if we are unable to keep this simple command, then we are as “nothing:” It doesn’t matter how much we know or how much we do, we simply have to accept God’s love, love God in return, and love one another.

Thank you Jesus for what you did for us. You loved us so much that you went to the cross and died. On the third day you rose from the dead and your spirit has been present with us ever since that first Easter. Teach us Lord Jesus to acknowledge your presence among us. Teach us Lord to live as you lived, “walking in love.” We resolve O Lord, to tell the whole world that “they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”  Amen

Recommended scripture readings for Week 5:
  • 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
  •  Mark 12: 30-31
  • 1 John 3:18
  •  Ephesians 5: 25
  •  Matthew 22: 37-39