The Secret Living

Day 285: John 15:1-17

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

I have been confused about so many things lately.  Why are we so torn apart and divided in our country?  Why is it so hard for us to agree or even agree to disagree?  However, the thing that keeps me awake at night the most, is the LGBT community.  Why is our sexuality such a big issue?  Because I’ll be honest here…I don’t care about the color of your skin, your sexuality preference, or how you live your life!  And, here is why?

In John 15:1-17, Jesus uses the language of growing grapes, in order to get his point across.  He gives the image of a grapevine and how the branches are connected to the vine.  God is the Vine-grower, Jesus is the ‘True Vine,” and we are the branches.  Just as a grapevine cannot produce grapes without the vine, nor can you and I produce the works of the Lord, without the Lord!  What can be even harder, is that God will prune us – cut us down to the nub in order that we will grow again – even stronger and better than before!  It can be a very painful process.  But the whole purpose of the grapevine is to produce fruit – Grapes for the sake of wine!  The whole purpose of becoming a disciple is to produce the works of the Lord for the sake of the Gospel!

However, one may ask the question, “How do we as disciples produce fruit?”  Well, Jesus tells us. He says twice, “Love one another.”  I read this over-and-over again.  Jesus does not say that if someone is “gay,” or if someone has a different color of skin, or has a different way of life, I don’t have to love him or her.  He plainly and simply says, “Love one another as I have loved you!”

And, how does Jesus love us?  He gave his life for us!  He even calls us ‘friends!”  He never mentions a person’s sexuality, color of their skin, or ethnicity.  He is speaking to every single person who hears His Word!  That is how we are to love one another!  That is how we produce fruit for the Father!  It is by our love for one another that demonstrates what Jesus has done for each of us.  No one is excluded from His gift of grace, love, and mercy! 

I’m thinking that is the reason I struggle so much with all the uproar about the LGBT community, not only in our society, but also in the Church.  We are only called to love one another!  We are not the judge! If we love Jesus Christ, acknowledge our sin, repent for our sins, and proclaim Christ, then our sexuality doesn’t matter!  The only thing that matters is that as Christians, we bear fruit – fruit that matters in the eyes of God – To love one another as Jesus loves us! 

My dear friends, Jesus has chosen you, appointed you, and will give you whatever you ask in His name (v. 16).  His commandment is clear, “That you love one another as I have loved you.” (v.12)

About pastorterrihttps://pastorterri.wordpress.comI serve as the pastor at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, Augusta, GA.

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