Sunday's Sermon (Print Copy)

 

"Love One Another"

 by Pastor Wayne

May 9, 2021 - 6th Sunday of Easter - B

 

Sermon text: “Love one another as I have loved you.” – John 15:12

 

“Love one another as I have loved you.”

This is what Jesus tells us in our gospel reading for today.

“Love one another as I have loved you.”

 

What is love?

We often think of love as a warm pleasant feeling inside.

The Bible has a different understanding of love

            and uses three words for love.

Filia “philia” is one Greek word translated as love.

“Philia” means a friendship type of love.

The name “Philadelphia” literally means “love of brother.”

Eros “eros” is another Greek word translated as love.

Eros refers natural human attraction to beauty, virtue, or goodness.

It includes, but is not limited to romantic sexual love.

The English word “erotic” is derived from the word eros “eros.”

Agaph “agape” is a third Greek word translated as love.

Agaph “agape” is a deep and steadfast love

      that cares for another person freely and unconditionally.

 

It is agaph “agape” type of love that God has for each one of us.

God steadfastly loves us freely and unconditionally.

No matter how we might fail and reject him,

            God always still loves us.

His love for us is not dependent on our responses to him.

God just loves us with an agaph “agape” kind of love!

 

In our gospel reading for today,

            it is the Greek word agaph “agape” that is used.

Jesus is not asking us to have eros “eros”

                  or Filia “philia” love for one another.

But rather he is asking us to have agaph “agape” love.

“Love one another as I have loved you.”

 

On this Mother’s Day we are remembering and giving thanks

            for our mothers.

Now I know that not all mothers are good and kind.

Some mothers largely fail in their role of mothering.

Of course, no mother is perfect.

But hopefully most of you here today had kind and loving mothers.

Most mothers are good examples of agaph “agape” love.

Most mothers have unconditional love for their children.

They simply love each child

            regardless of how much that child succeeds or fails in life.

Most mothers just simply love their children!

 

Of course, Jesus did not just describe “love” for the disciples,

            Jesus showed his love with his words and actions.

He lived agaph “agape” love.

He cried with those who mourned.

He accepted the outcasts.

He fed the hungry.

He sought out the lost.

He forgave his enemies.

In all that he said and did, Jesus loved.

The most powerful way that Jesus showed his love for us

            was by dying on the cross.

His sacrifice gives credibility to his words:

      “No one has greater love than this,

            to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

There is no greater love than the love Jesus has for you and me!

 

“A Raisin in the Sun” is a well-known play by Lorraine Hansberry

            about an African-American family

                  living on the south side of Chicago in the 1950’s.

When the play opens, the family is about to receive

            an life insurance check for $10,000

                  due to the death of the father.

Each of the adult members of the family has an idea

            as to what should be done with this money.

The matriarch of the family, Mama, wants to buy a house.

Mama’s son Walter wants to buy a liquor store.

Mama’s daughter Beneatha wants to use the money

                  for her medical school tuition.

There is a great deal of debate and controversy

            over what should be done with the money.

In time, Mama’s son Walter gives $6,500 of the money

      to his friend, who Walter assumes will be

            his business partner in the liquor store.

But instead of using this money to buy the liquor store,

            this so-called friend ran off with the money.

The whole family is crushed

            when they learn of this sudden loss of money.

Mama’s daughter Beneatha is especially furious.

She thinks that her dream of medical school is shattered.

She is extremely angry with Walter

            and wants nothing more to do with her brother.

She wants him out of their family forever.

But even though they are all very disappointed with Walter,

            Mama told her daughter that they still have to love him.

Beneatha tells her mother:

      “Love him? There is nothing left to love.”
 

Then Mama responds:

      “There is always something left to love.

      And if you ain’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothing.

      Have you cried for that boy today?

      I don’t mean for yourself and for the family

                  ‘cause we lost the money.

      I mean for him: what he been through and what it done to him.

      Child, when do you think is the time

                  to love somebody the most?

      When they done good and made things easy for everybody?

      Well then, you ain’t through learning –

                  because that ain’t the time at all.

      It’s when he’s at his lowest and can’t believe in hisself

                  ‘cause the world done whipped him so!

      when you starts measuring somebody, measure him right,

            child, measure him right.

      Make sure you done taken into account

            what hills and valleys he come through

                  before he got to wherever he is.”
 

Mama knew what agaph “agape” love was all about.

And even though she was very disappointed with her son,

            she still loved him and always would.

 

We also are to love one another with agaph “agape” love.

This is how Jesus loves us.

It does not matter who the other person is or what they have done.

All that matters is that a person needs our love and who doesn’t?

 

A young man was seen walking along the beach at dawn,

      picking up starfish one by one

            and throwing them back into the sea.

An observer asked him why he was doing this.

The young man answered that the stranded starfish would die

            if left out in the morning sun.

The observer replied, “But the beach goes on for miles.

      There are millions of starfish.

      How can what you are doing make any difference?”

The young man picked up another starfish

            and threw it into the ocean,

      saying, “It makes a difference to that one.”

 

Can you think of a person who needs your love this week?

Your love will make a difference to that one.

 

Hear again, the words of our Lord Jesus Christ,

      “This is my commandment,

            that you love one another as I have loved you...

      love one another!”

 

Amen.