Alleluia! Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Immediately following Easter, I still have those amazing words ringing in my ears - the true message of Christianity - that Christ rose from the dead for us. The cross and death itself could not contain him. And, of course, Jesus gave us the promise of risen life with him if we love him and keep his commandments. What greater love is there than this?
Just before he died, Jesus gave us his so-called "new commandment!" - that we should love one another as he loved us (John 13.34). These words can be taken two ways - that we love one another because he loved us; or that we love one another in the same way that he loved us. Personally, I think that Jesus was asking us to love one another in the same way that he loved us, which is the bigger ask.
Jesus was love personified. In one sense it would be impossible for us to love others to the same degree that he loved us, because Jesus' divine love is far greater than any human love. But I think that Jesus is asking exactly that of us - that we love others in the same way he loved us.
We can only achieve what we aim for, and I think that in that new commandment Jesus is asking us to at least aim for perfection in the way we love others, even if we can never achieve his level of divine love.
It's difficult not to be inspired by the words of Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, or at least reflect on them regarding our love to others:
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Cor 13:4-7).
My prayer for all of us is that we may all aim to love more, and love better.
With every blessing,