Here to Love

Matt GallagherPosted on Monday, January 7, 2013 by Matt Gallagher

The beginning of a new year is the ideal time for us to set our sights on what we want to aim for in the months ahead.

January 2013 marks the start, not just of a new year, but of a new season in the life of the church family here at St. Luke’s. I spoke at our Sunday services on January 6th to introduce a series of teaching aimed at helping us, as a community, to start to explore what we want to aim for together.

I started by taking a quick look at what the Bible has to say about some of the things Jesus did to see if that might point us in the right direction.

  • Jesus tells a raging storm to settle down and (to his followers’ amazement) it does (Luke 8: 22-25)
  • He casts a herd of evil spirits out of a man and into a herd of pigs (Luke 8: 26-39)
  • A woman who has been suffering for twelve years is healed just by touching His clothes and all this while He’s on the way to raise a twelve year old girl from the dead (Luke 8: 40-56)
  • He sends his twelve disciples out to do the same sort of things He’s been doing
  • He feeds five thousand men, plus women and children with a fish sandwich
  • He goes to a mountain top where He’s put in a heavenly spotlight; has a chat with Moses and Elijah and is praised by a voice from a cloud
  • He heals a boy that no-one else could help (Luke 9)
  • Jesus sends out seventy-two to heal the sick and they come back reporting that not only had they been doing that but the evil spirits had obeyed them as well (Luke 10)

What amazing things …and yet shortly afterwards, (still reading in Luke 10) Jesus tells someone that the two most important things to do are:

“Love GOD, your God, with your whole heart: love Him with all that’’s in you, love Him with all you’’ve got!” (Deuteronomy 6:5)

and,

“Love your neighbour as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18)

Later in Luke 22:24-27, during the last meal He has with His followers before He is arrested, tried and executed, He tells them that they should serve one another.

In the parallel account of this meal reported in John 13, He even demonstrates this practically by cleaning the dust and dirt off their feet (something a servant would normally have done for them all).

Then He says,

““Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples —when they see the love you have for each other.”” (John 13: 34-35)

It’s interesting that he doesn’t say,

“This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples when you heal the sick, banish evil spirits, raise the dead, walk on water, calm the weather, feed thousands with a packed-lunch and do even more amazing things than I have done.”

Instead, He tells them to love each other.

During the beginning part of this new season, we’ll be looking together at what it really means for us to be “here to love”.

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