May 01, 2007

Looking Forward to May 6, 2007 -- 5th Sunday of Easter, Camp Sunday

The Scripture readings for this week are:

  • From the Life of the Early Church: Acts 11:1-18
  • Psalm 148
  • From the Gospel: John 13:31-35

The Hymns are:

  • 289 It Only Takes a Spark
  • This Little Light of Mine (insert)
  • They’ll Know we Are Christians (insert)
  • 352 Lord of the Dance

Following the meditation we will view a PowerPoint presentation on Sunny Cove Camp.

The Meditation title is A New Commandment.

Early thoughts:A camp song goes:

A new commandment, give I unto you
that you love one another as I have loved you
that you love one another as I have loved you
And be this shall all men know that you are my disciples
that you have love one for another

In the end this is the basics of what it means to be a Christian. It isn't about doctrine, or about how we pray, or about how much money we have. It is all about loving each other. All of the Gospels attest to this, that the greatest commandment is to love.

Of course it is our ability to love each other that both makes it possible to live with each other and gets regularly tested because we live with each other. And because of that testing we ned to remind ourselves on a constant basis that loving each other is not only good, it is mandatory and vital.

Over the course of history Christianity's success in living up to the commandment to love has often been less than stellar. Christianity has been exclusive (of women, of gays and lesbians, of people who think differently, of other ethnic groups). Christianity has made pronouncments of damnation. Christianity has led the call to warfare and crusade. And so Christians have been accused of being hypocritical, of not following their own faith. But just when I want to give up there comes a story about when we get it right. For all our slipping we have the potential to get it right.

We have come to understand that we live in a global village. We have come to learn that we have to find a way to live together despite our differences. The biggest part of doing that is learning to love as we are commanded to do so. And as the hymn we will sing on Sunday says: They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes they'll know we are Christians by our love.

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