Asbury United Methodist Church
Love - Share - Tell - Serve

January 3, 2011

Happy New Year! We’re having a marvelous Monday.

Jesus told us that he would give us a new commandment, that we are to love one another. [John 13:34] On this first real work day of the new year, maybe today would be a good day to take Jesus’ command to heart.

Carlo Caretto, one of the desert fathers said, “The more we study, the more our ideas become confused; the more we get caught up in discussions, the farther we go from him.”

Good old Carlo wasn’t knocking study or religious discussion as much as he was saying that study and religious discussion are not the end! Study and religious discussion are a beginning and a means to an end to love Jesus, make disciples and change the world.

I’ve met lots of Bible scholars in whom I’ve never witnessed the love of Christ. It makes me wonder then, what is the point of their study if it does not lead to the love of our Lord.

I’ve met lots of Christian debaters in whom there did not seem to be a trace of the love of Jesus. If we do not love, what then is the reason for debate?

Carlo went on to say, “Only love brings God’s coming to us, his presence within us, and his consequent revelation.”

Whoa! Did he say what I think he said? We can study and debate all we want but only love brings us revelation.

Well that about sums it up. Where we’re moving is towards Christ’s living presence within us. The contemporary hymn, “I’m Lost Without You,” sings, “His very Word, living in me!”

The end of our journey is in joining with Christ. We can talk a good game and study a good game but it must lead us to that man Jesus or it is all for naught.

AND, we’re to image Christ in life AND Christ died for us! Humbling, isn’t it?

Well, I sure have my work cut out for me in 2011! Maybe you do too! After all, we are our own worst enemies.

Finally, I do not think we’ll ever have peace until we invite Christ’s living presence within us. At that point, debate seems to fly out the window. Love simply is!



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