Summer School of Love

by susan on June 8, 2019

In Practicing the Way of Jesus Together: Life Together in the Kingdom of Love, Mark Scandrette writes, “The vision of belonging that Jesus embodied and taught calls us to a love that is far more ruthless and tender than seems humanly possible. It is a kind of love that can empower you to treat your worst enemy as your dearest friend and to keep hanging on, forgiving, believing and hoping against all hope for love to win. An apprentice of Jesus learns to love as God loves.”

Apprentices, followers, learners of the way of Jesus. That’s what many of us claim to be; yet too often, we present as adherers to doctrines, protectors of institutions or defenders of “the faith” (as if there is one uniform definition of faith – read Scripture & you’ll find there are MANY!).  We are quick to point out when others get it wrong, slow to admit that all of us are merely learners along the way…especially when it comes to love.

Love is the greatest of the commands according to Jesus, the essence of God according to 1 John & it was the thing that got Jesus killed by defenders of the faith (he kept loving all the “wrong” people).  The divine love revealed in Jesus is tender & ruthless & so different from our limited, conditional & often over-controlling love that we have struggled to imagine it, much less live it.

This summer, we are spending time focused on learning love. We’ll gather on Sundays to explore scripture, pray, sing some, hear stories & share communion. We’ll also share conversation together about what we’re learning about love of neighbor, love of self, love in conflict, love in sickness & love in mental health illness. We’re calling it “summer school of love” and as you know, summer school is usually for those who need a little more instruction or have a little catching up to do. You have to admit, we ALL need a little help when it comes to love…just look around or better yet, take a look inside. None of us have arrived, we all have much to learn.

 

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