The Holy Gospel: May 5, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  John 14:23-29

Meditation:  “Whatever You Say”

Jeannie and I recently celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary.  The love we felt initially was genuine, but neither of us had any idea how it would grow, be challenged, and leave us better off forty-three years later than when we first met.

As these decades have passed, the reality of Jesus’ words in today’s reading has become more true with respect to the love Jeannie and I have for each other:  “those who love me will keep my word” (v. 23).  We have come to realize that the greatest confirmation of our love is that we honor, encourage, and support each other by doing what the other person asks us to do.

On the basis of initially-genuine love, subsequent love grows through obedience.  On the basis of initially-genuine love, the greatest sign of our love for the other is when we respond, “Whatever you say.”

As you know, this blog is entitled Oboedire, the Latin word from which we get our English word, obedience—a word which means listening with the intention of putting into practice what we hear.

This is the mark of love—not simply telling the other, “I love you,” but actually living as if we do.  The profession of our love is verified by our expression of it.

Christianity has “the right words,” and most of you reading this post will have spoken them one way or another.  We do it when we pray, when we sing, when we study, when we worship, when we confess our faith, etc. etc.

Jesus is pleased to know that we know the right words to say about God, about ourselves, about life, etc.  But today’s lesson reminds us that Jesus is even more pleased when we turn our words into deeds–when we discover that “those who love me will keep my word.”

And…Jesus is not the only one waiting for Christian words to become actions; the whole world is too.


About Steve Harper

Dr. Steve Harper is retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 45 books. He is also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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