An Encouraging Word from Jason Lockhart
John 13:34 – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Have you experienced love at St. John’s? During times of worship, whether it be while exchanging the Peace or during the celebration of Holy Communion, have you experienced love in an outstretched hand or in the receiving of bread and wine? During times of celebration, whether it be the marriage of a couple or the baptism of the child, have you experienced love while being witness to a new union in Christ or receiving a new member into the household of faith? During times of trial, whether it be a personal illness or the death of a loved one, have you experienced love through the prayers of healing or the comfort given through an embrace at a funeral?
Christ commands us to love one another as He has loved us. However, through his sacrificial death and his resurrection, our relationship with Christ is no longer transactional. By extension, our relationship with St. John’s and with our fellow parishioners is not transactional either. Our willingness to give to St. John’s and to our fellow parishioners is a byproduct of a heart transformed by the Gospel. Our willingness to give to St. John’s and to our fellow parishioners is a response to the gift of God’s mercy through Christ.
As a result of receiving God’s love made known to us in Christ, we are called to exercise reckless generosity, since we have been loved by Christ with reckless generosity.
So, as you consider your pledge, consider that giving of your money and your time to St. John’s is not merely giving to a place, but to a group of people, gathered in the name of Jesus and guided by the Holy Spirit. Consider that giving of your money and your time is loving your neighbor. Consider that giving or your money and your time is fulfilling the command of our Savior.
Love one another as you have been loved in Christ.
Learn more about other important updates in the latest church newsletter: The Epistle – October 12, 2023