Jesus takes everyone by surprise, not just the skeptics, but those closest to him too. Having surprised them by humbly washing their feet, Jesus unsettles them yet again by foreshadowing his betrayal and pending arrest as he broke bread with them. But rather than dwell on how he was about to be treated, he gave them a command of how to treat one another – a new command. John’s gospel captures Jesus saying: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) In short, Dare to love as he has loved. Loving even those who would betray him or deny knowing him as both Judas and Peter will do.
Sometimes loving and caring for others is not the easiest thing to do. Especially when they are not at all like you. How have you struggled to love those around you recently? How might you take Jesus’ “commandment” more seriously in your life? How might Hillside and The Way love on one another so others may know we are followers of Jesus? How might we together love our neighbors extravagantly without expecting anything from them?
JOURNEY TO NEXT STATION: Head north on Market Street crossing Mill Street and onto the front lawn of The Way| Woodstock UMC’s campus. A campfire will be there for you to gather and warm up as we reflect on the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples before his arrest.