Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Sum of all the Commandments

John 15:9b-11

• Abide in my love.

10 • If you keep my commandments,,
you will abide in my love,
just as I have kept my Father's commandments
and abide in his love.

11 • These things I have spoken to you,
that my joy may be in you,
and that your joy may be full.

Just as the commandments can be summarized in terms of love for God and for one's neighbour (Matthew 22:37-40 And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (38) This is the great and first commandment. (39) And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. (40) On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.") even so Jesus summarizes his commandments in terms of love. The commandment is, 'Abide in my love.' and the reward for keeping the commandment is, 'You will abide in my love.' It is recursive and connected as all organically growing things are and we can get lost in meditating on what it means.
But before we do get lost in it, we find that we are rushing on to the ultimate demonstration of it, the crucifixion, where those disciples who remained grafted into the vine felt anything but connected to Christ and their prayers seemed anything but answered. This is why Jesus interrupts the flow of what he is saying about connectedness to tell them that he is telling them these things so that their joy might be full. Alongside the truth of the life of the Spirit flowing to us from Christ and the answer to prayer that indicates the reality of the connection objectively, we have the Word of God, spoken here by Christ for the disciples and subsequently written down by John so that we might be sustained through our particular cross-sufferings to continue to look to be grafted into the vine.

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