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Daily Devotional for March 30


March 30                                                          John 15:12-27

            Love One Another

The early Christian church was renowned for its love. People
seemed drawn toward Christianity, not because its followers
had superior philosophical insights, but because of the love
they showed toward each other.

Jesus says in today's passage, "This I command you, to love
one another." But how do we do this? So many of us have
found this passage, and many similar ones in the New Testa-
ment, almost impossible to understand, let alone to obey. How
can we feel warmly about people, including some of our
brothers and sisters, who just don't arouse that feeling in us
- some of whom, indeed, we just plain don't even like? It's

Strangely enough, a careful reading of the New Testament gives
a clue to the answer. For one thing, it becomes clear that even
Jesus himself often didn't show any warmth of feeling toward
those whom he said he loved. If his use of the word didn't
have to imply warm feelings, what is the meaning of agape,
the Greek word which underlies the term "love," as Jesus uses
it here?

Agape, as used in all but a few places in the New Testament,
means "love of the other person for the sake of the other per-
son," a meaning for which we have no equivalent in English.
To love, in the sense of agape, doesn't require me to have the
kind of warm feelings that we usually associate with "love."
All that it requires is that I act in a caring way, a way that clearly
shows my real concern for the other person's well-being.

Surely, I can act this way no matter how I feel about the other
person. It is simply a matter of doing it.

[Agape love doesn't mean we like what a person is but we have

hope for what they can become: a child of God. L.M. 3/25/2019]

  Jesus, help me to practice your kind of agape love for
  other people - to simply act in a caring way, no matter
            what my feelings about it may be. Amen.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.

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