"If you love me, you will keep my commandments."
~ John 14:15
This morning as I pour over my "Sunday Sermon," I am drawn to the realization that when Jesus shares, "If you love me," it is the reminder that it is still an invitation.
For all of us, one cannot fall in love in the abstract. Love comes through the encounter with another person. The same is true for faith. If faith is a relationship with the living Christ and the living God who sent him, then faith can only come through an encounter with them. And the Spirit is the one who makes this presence known.
Jesus is reminding us that the Spirit is not someone coming in to "replace" Jesus. No, the Spirit is the extension of Jesus.
The Spirit encapsulates the story of Jesus. His life, ministry, death and resurrection and brings it to us so that we can have the relationship with Jesus.
"You have not seen, but believe," is at the root of our faith, but to "have not seen, but encountered the Spirit and that helps me to believe," takes on an entirely different way of talking about our faith and belief in Jesus.
Each of us are invited to love Jesus. To encounter the Spirit, so that the relationship can begin, develop and to grow.
I guess it's more important than ever to then realize that it is so important that we remain in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.