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Follow Me…. …Love One Another. The words of Jesus as recorded in John’s Gospel, the 13 th chapter….

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Follow Me…

…Love One Another


The words of Jesus as recorded in John’s Gospel, the 13th chapter…

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”


We missed something last week

Something was said last week that we did not pay attention to

In fact, something was said last week that we completely ignored


Now, I guess our neglect of what was said last week is somewhat excusable

After all, we wanted to focus our attention on the theme of the day: “Follow Me… Tell Others”

And quite frankly, what was said last week during the worship service did not pertain to the topic at hand


So it was ignored somewhat excusable


But should we have ignored what was said? somewhat excusable

Should we have simply gone on with the topic at hand as though what was said had not been said?

No, we should not have done that.

Because, you see, what was said was a cry for help!


This is what was said: somewhat excusable

“Does not man have hard service on earth? Are not his days like those of a hired man? Like a slave longing for the evening shadows, or a hired man waiting eagerly for his wages,so I have been allotted months of futility, and nights of misery have been assigned to me.When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’ The night drags on, and I toss till dawn.My body is clothed with worms and scabs, my skin is broken and festering.My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and they come to an end without hope. Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath; my eyes will never see happiness again.”

(These were the words of Job, chapter 7 - our Old Testament reading for last week)


The words of Job were a cry for help somewhat excusable

He was in anguish

His children were dead

His fortune was lost

He was lost in sorrow, grief, confusion and doubt

His health was ruined


And so, in the words of last week’s Old Testament reading, Job cries out

And he despairs about his hard service, his feelings of futility and hopelessness, his physical pain and suffering, and his sleepless nights of misery.

He is certain that he will never see happiness again.


And we ignored him Job cries out


Now I know what you might be thinking… Job cries out

“Gee, Pastor… give us a break. It’s not like we ignored a REAL person. Job’s one of those ‘Bible People.’ The guy lived thousands of years ago. His problems existed thousands of years ago. There’s nothing we could have done for him.”


“Plus, we had that sermon series to do, too. You know, the one about following Jesus? And last week we were talking about evangelism and mission work and telling others about Jesus and about being ‘fishers of men’ - the whole nine yards! That was what we had to talk about.”

Besides, you’re the guy choosing what the sermons are about. So… WE didn’t ignore anyone!”


“This one doesn’t count.” the one about following Jesus? And last week we were talking about evangelism and mission work and telling others about Jesus and about being ‘fishers of men’ - the whole nine yards! That was what we had to talk about.”


Okay, so maybe this one doesn’t actually count. Maybe it IS a stretch to say that we ignored Job last week.

So, maybe we can say that we’re all excused.

But what’s our excuse when we DO ignore cries for help?

What’s our excuse when we ignore REAL people in need?


We do live in a world that is filled with need… with cries of anguish and despair…

The are people of all ages who are sick - some desperately.

There are people who have suffered terrible loss.

There are people who feel alone.


We do live in a world that is filled with need… with cries of anguish and despair…

At times they feel isolated from the rest of the world

At times their sadness never seems to end


We do live in a world that is filled with need… with cries of anguish and despair…

People of all walks of life can go through periods of time when they are lost and confused, feeling helpless and hopeless, overwhelmed and beaten down.


And we need to do something about it! of anguish and despair…


Remember the words of our text… of anguish and despair…

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”


With these words, Jesus further expands His definition of what it means to be people who follow Him.

Not only do followers of Jesus recognize Him to be in charge…

Not only do followers of Jesus “abide in His Word…”

Not only do followers of Jesus make disciples of all nations…


Followers of Jesus love one another. what it means to be people who follow Him.

We love one another within the Family of God - fellow believers within the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And we love one another within the Family of Humankind - all those whom God has created.


Jesus makes it clear… what it means to be people who follow Him.

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Being a follower of Jesus will show itself by the love that we have for others!

No love…

No disciples!


The kind of love that Jesus is talking about is the kind of love that shows itself in word and deed!

It is giving them your time and attention… giving them a shoulder to lean on

It’s getting involved in their lives

It is coming alongside people in their hour of need


The kind of love that Jesus is talking about is the kind of love that shows itself in word and deed!

And sometimes it forces us to deal with the issues and crises that plague our world

Sometimes it takes us outside of our comfort zones

Sometimes showing this love takes us to far away places


But always this kind of love that Jesus is talking about shows itself by us getting involved in the lives of others!



Our Gospel reading for today shows us how Jesus did it… Christ

A man who suffered from leprosy came to Jesus and begged Him...

“If you are willing, you can make me clean.”


Our Gospel reading for today shows us how Jesus did it… Christ

Look at what happens next:

Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man.


Our Gospel reading for today shows us how Jesus did it… Christ

"I am willing," He said. "Be clean!"

Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.


In doing what He did, Jesus did the sort of things that made the people of His day queasy.

He showed compassion to someone whom most people had identified as an outcast of society

He gave His time and energy to a person that other people would literally run away from


And then He did the unthinkable! the people of His day queasy.

He touched him.

He touched a leper.


And in touching the man the people of His day queasy.

Jesus showed the depth of His compassion

…He showed the depth of His love.


We are called upon, as followers of Jesus, to show forth the compassion and love of Jesus to others.

And we are to do this as a congregation & school


We are the people who have already known and cherished the love and compassion of Jesus in our own lives…

He has died for us!

He has risen from the dead for us!

He has granted us our salvation & eternal life!


And what’s more is that He surrounds us with His love and compassion through each other within this Family of Believers.

So… the expectations that He has for us should be clear!

If we are to be serious about following Him, then we need to be serious about loving one another within this church & school.

It starts here.


The love we have for one another here at St. Paul Lutheran Church and School needs to be the witness we give to the rest of the world.

It needs to be the way others recognize us to be Christ’s disciples.


And then, as we love one another here in this gathering of believers, we let that same love extend to the rest of the world.

No matter at what stage of life they are at…


And then, as we love one another here in this gathering of believers, we let that same love extend to the rest of the world.

No matter what their need…


And then, as we love one another here in this gathering of believers, we let that same love extend to the rest of the world.

No matter where we find them…


And then, as we love one another here in this gathering of believers, we let that same love extend to the rest of the world.

No matter the kind of work we have to do…


And then, as we love one another here in this gathering of believers, we let that same love extend to the rest of the world.

And no matter how hard.


We are called upon to be the hands of Jesus believers, we let that same love extend to the rest of the world.


Touching each other and the rest of the world believers, we let that same love extend to the rest of the world.


With His Love. believers, we let that same love extend to the rest of the world.


Because that’s what disciples of Jesus do. believers, we let that same love extend to the rest of the world.


That’s who disciples of Jesus are. believers, we let that same love extend to the rest of the world.


We started things off today acknowledging the fact that we ignored the cries of anguish that Job gave in last weekend’s Old Testament lesson.

But I guess that was okay, because last week it really didn’t count.


May Jesus grant us, His disciples, the ears, eyes and hearts to hear, see and respond when the cries of anguish are around us…

when it does count.

Amen


“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”


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