“I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me
may be in them and I in them.” – Jesus
This quote is part of our Gospel reading for today. It’s excerpted from a long discourse that John features after the Last Supper. Jesus is actually praying here to His Heavenly Father, and to ours. Jesus is praying, ultimately, for all of us, that we may love with that same love He receives from His Father, and that Jesus has for us.
What if we all loved with the love with which Jesus loves? What if we allowed the love of God to so permeate our hearts, our very beings, that all we can do is will the good of the other, as other? What if we could share that love our Triune God bestows upon us with our enemies, with those who persecute us? What if we could share that perfect love with those who don’t look like us or think like us? What if we looked at everyone as our beloved brothers and our sisters, as the children of God they are?
To quote a famous believer and follower of Jesus, who loved until the end, which came too soon for him, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
I’ve been thinking about all this and remembered the above quote because of the tragic events of the past week or so – the deaths of 2 men who did not deserve to die. The world lost 2 precious human beings who were not threatening anyone nor had they ever attempted to harm anyone. And yet, there were others who, for reasons that I cannot fathom, decided to harm them, so much so that these 2 young men lost their lives for no good reason.
I grieve for the loved ones of these 2 Americans, and for their communities who cannot understand why this happened or how this could happen in a 21st ‘civilized, enlightened’ society. I don’t know anyone personally who can understand how these things could have occurred, how there can still be so much hate and ignorance in the world. The fact that there do exist people with that amount of hate and ignorance, depresses me. And so I pray. I pray for a new day when everyone knows the love of Jesus Christ and everyone can love their neighbor (all people we encounter!) as themselves, who can love with the love with which God loves.
Eternal rest grant unto Ahmaud Aubery and George Floyd, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.
I will end here with a prayer, because I honestly don’t have words to convey how awful I’m feeling right now…Let us pray. Lord Jesus, help us to love and not hate, even those who deserve our anger and whose actions are deserving of condemnation. Help us to love and to pray for conversion of hearts that are cold, hard, and without compassion for another, hearts without respect for the dignity of others, hearts that do not respect human life. Break our hearts for what breaks Yours. Do not let evil beget evil. Let those who are aggrieved and angered respond with peaceful protests as Martin Luther King, Jr. advocated and demonstrated. May those who seek justice for these egregious offenses against You and against humanity find justice. Comfort the families who mourn the loss of their loved ones. Have mercy on us all. We beg this in Your holy and precious Name. Amen.