May 5, 2024: Love

open hands

Sixth Sunday of Easter


The more I read through the Bible, the more I see the word “love”: love God, love each other. It sounds simple, but it is anything but simple. Our humanity limits our ability to remain faithful to these commandments.

I grew up in a church-going family. By the time I was in high school, I had listened to several rounds of the lectionary. Reading A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens for English class, I recognized this passage from the Gospel of John easily: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13.” This is the highest requirement of love, one that Jesus freely accepted for us, his friends.

Jesus spent his ministry trying to get his disciples and others to understand that love of God and neighbor is more important than various rituals of the “faith.” The rituals have their place, but not at the expense of love of God and love of each other. Jesus wants us to copy his behavior: he keeps God’s commandments as we are to keep the commandments of Jesus. This is what is expected of us.

God’s love is infinite, unconditional, and eternal. Can we do less in our love for God and others?

Martha E. Griffis, Central Moravian Church
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania