Today’s Reading: John 13:34-35(NIV)
34 [Jesus said,] “A new command Igive you: Love one another. As I haveloved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are mydisciples, if you love one another.”
“What’s for dinner, Mom?” It seems to be the question of the hour, especially when tiny growling tummies are waiting for Mom to come through the garage door into the kitchen. The anticipation of dinner time is sometimes even better than the actual meal, especially when Mom is not a gourmet chef. Our children would have been happy had I said the word “PIZZA!” every night. And if my husband had it his way, he could have eaten pizza every night. We have an adult son who now manages a well-known fast food franchise that serves pizza twenty-four hours a day. Dad knows exactly who to call when he wants “pizza” for dinner. You should have seen their beaming faces droop when the answer to the question of what’s for dinner was the word MUSTGO. What is MUSTGO, you ask? Simply stated, “It must go.” Leftover nights were not nearly so popular. It meant that Mom might warm up left over vegetables from the night before, adding a salad and some fresh fruit to the table fare. Maybe Sunday’s barbecued chicken would be served cold, with extra paper towels for those messy little fingers. I don’t know why MUSTGO was such a dreaded word. Some foods taste better the next day, and why waste it? My favorite MUSTGO was cold meat loaf sandwiches on thick wheat bread. Now that’s a meal you can sink your teeth into.
Whenever I would hear their moans and, I would encourage my children to pretend they were enjoying these leftover delicacies for the very first time. Remember how good the barbecue smelled on Sunday? Remember how much you liked the broccoli with Mommy’s homemade cheese sauce? Remember? Reminiscing seems to prepare the palate for a mouth-watering morsel. MUSTGO might actually be okay tonight. In fact, it might taste pretty good! Of course, if this didn’t work, I could always remind them of all the starving children around the world. And, when that failed, the choice to eat and enjoy or go to bed without dinner became a viable option. Yes, I confess I said it and meant it.
When Jesus told the disciples that He was giving them anew commandment, it wasn’t really new. He wanted His disciples to really love each other, like He loves them. This love is a radical remix of the most wonderful gift the Father has ever given to the world. We love not when we extend trite lip service without action. Love is not real when we mutter mean-spirited comments under our breath orbehind our brother’s backs. Genuine love is not some show. Jesus was serving up a little MUSTGO that night, insisting that unhealthy attitudes and preconceived notions needed to stop now. Prejudice and judgmental behaviors MUST GO.
Genuine love does not grow stale with time. It is fresh and new each day, and it tastes marvelous because it is really REAL. When we choose to follow Jesus Christ, we MUST GO into all the world, loving each other the same way He loves each of us. Come and taste the real deal; we’re having MUSTGO today!
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC -
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