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  • Writer's pictureJess B

Weekly Liturgy : April 29 - May 5

Rescued, ©Yongsung Kim
Rescued, ©Yongsung Kim
John 15:9-17

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other."


 

REFLECTION:

Thoughts from Jess, CCS Family Site Chaplain


It really is about love! I’m not talking about sappy romantic love or shallow desires, but real love; both the noun and the verb. So what is real love? In summary,  the Gospel seems to define love as we are all equally valued parts of a whole and in balance we receive what we need and desire as we give the same to others. Sometimes it is a choice to sacrifice your own rights, desires and selfishness in order to care for others. Other times it is openly receiving care because you come to know you're worth it.


God loves us.  He created and deeply loves all people. We were made like God so that we could be in a relationship based on being unconditionally loved and loving. Depending on how you approach this text, you may feel like there is a condition to love.  One where you have to obey his commandments to remain in love. But if you read the text in full you see that the command is to love as you have been loved. Really he’s saying that this place of love is where you should stay- embraced and embracing God and others.  A place where there is joy.  We are meant to love God and people not out of obligation or an effort to earn, but because we are loved. 


You really can’t give out something you have not received. Unfortunately, many have not been loved as they should have been and therefore don’t know how to receive or show love.  Their hearts and minds were never fully nurtured because pain, suffering and neglect took the place of being loved.  So, many do not know the love of God and do not know how to take it in. God and others, with an abundance of unconditional love, are pursuing you, but maybe you are unsure how or fearful to let it in. God chose you and he became a human and a servant and was even murdered so he could reach you with his love. Healing of your heart, mind and spirit may need to happen first so you can receive.  Healing comes from others.  It comes from people who love because they are known and loved.  


Love becomes a rhythm of being known and loved and knowing and loving. This is what Jesus is talking about in this passage. It’s not a heavy burden, but joyful filling up and pouring out. That is how we remain in LOVE!



 

PRACTICE:

Outward Mindset Application

Be curious this week.

Ask a coworker or a guest to tell a time they feel truly loved?

Ask what do people do that make you feel loved?


Non-Violent Communication Question of the Week:

Who do you know who seems to speak with the least amount of judgement? Can you replicate any of their ways of communicating?


Pathways toward Centeredness

Sensation (Loving God through our senses):

Use all your senses today to center yourself

Smell: Light a candle or diffuser of your favorite scent 

See: Sit by a window or outside with a beautiful view (or watch the flame of your candle)

Touch: use a cozy soft blanket an feel its comfort (or run your fingers through the grass)

Taste: slowly eat and enjoy a favorite treat 

Hear: List to soft music or the sounds of nature around you.


Questions for Reflection

What makes you feel loved?

Do you believe you are loved by God?

What are ways you love people well?


 

“Liturgy” refers to the habits and practices humans use to form community around shared values and meaning. At Church at the Park, we desire to be a community of practice, becoming people who see the world through the eyes of the marginalized, making meaning through the lens of pain and suffering, and committing ourselves to non-violence in a wounded world. This weekly email is intended to provide pathways of practice for becoming the type of people who embody these values.


Many of our reflections on each week's text come from other sources. If you're interested in reading more of what inspires us, here our our two favorite reflections.


Copyright (C) 2023 Church at the Park. All rights reserved.



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