by Maria Rudolph
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As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (John 13:34b,35).
LCANZ pastor Adrian Kitson wrote a beautiful song that reflects the slogan of the church: Where love comes to life. As you opened this devotion page, you have likely already seen it. Your congregation may use it on their sign out the front of the building or on the bulletin. All official LCANZ communication bears these words. What do they mean to the church? What do they mean to you? Do the two answers match up? Actually, the only important thing to really ask is, what do these words mean to Jesus?
Today, as we read through the account of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet and giving them a new command to love one another, he provides us with the answer. Jesus himself is that answer. Jesus is the love who has come to life in the flesh at Christmas. He taught about the kingdom of God and healed many. After bearing all of our sins and shame on the cross and dying, Christ – love himself – comes to life again. ‘We know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them’ (1 John 4:16).
You are part of the body of Christ whom Jesus commissioned to bring this love to life (Matthew 28:18–20). Whether you are young, middle-aged or old; fit, overweight or frail; female or male; rich or poor, Jesus uses each of us as the living stones that make up a living building – the church. You, no matter how insignificant you may feel or how important you may feel, with the constant help of the Holy Spirit, are a part of Christ’s mission to bring love to life in his name right where you are. If you think your local context is lacking to bring love to life, be the one to boldly and gently step out in Christ’s name to be the change you want to see. Being humble, serving one another, bearing with one another in love according to the example Jesus gave at the Last Supper. We serve, teach, preach and welcome in his name so that one day, every knee can bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Lord God, equip and lead the women and men of the LCANZ to serve together humbly in all ways you have graciously gifted, called and equipped us to bring your love to life in our local context and through your wider church. In Jesus’ name. Amen.