I’m writing this on Sunday evening, and I’ve spent the weekend cleaning, making things for my business (I work as an adjunct professor and sell crochet items on the side), I watched the new Taylor Swift documentary “Miss Americana”, and finally I sat down to spend some time writing Scripture. I started this project of writing, studying, and commenting on the New Testament a couple of years ago now, and I’m almost through John. Decidedly, I didn’t think it would take this long, but I’m not complaining. I enjoy it every time I sit down to do it, which is a few times per week. I learn a ton all the time, and it’s wonderfully overwhelming.
Tonight, as I was wrapping up a section from John 15 (verses 9-17), I was reading through one of my favorite commentaries–one by Charles Ellicott–and I was struck.
You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you.
This is what I command you: love one another. (CSB translation)
Ellicott’s commentary is always succinct and striking…one of the reasons it’s a fave…but this one bowled me over extra.
The loving and being loved by God is the ideal perfection of human life. Love to God is proved by love to humankind.
Americans in 2020 are doing a crap job at loving each other. Let’s be honest…we may never have been good at it, but in this moment on this day we seem monumentally broken. I’m writing this latter half of the post on Monday evening, after there was a shooting at the university where I work. Two women in a residence hall, along with a toddler in their care, were shot. The women died. The toddler is in the hospital. There are no names or explanations yet, but a big part of me wonders if it was a dating/domestic dispute. If one of the women came to pick up the other with a child in tow never dreaming of how this would end.
I’m constantly confused these days. Heartbroken, discouraged, or ground down. There are good days, but the sickly ones seem to catch up all too soon. We are terrible to each other. Our lawmakers are terrible to each other and to their constituents. People are mean as snakes. I wish I didn’t see it daily in my own Facebook feed coming from people around me. I wish I could somehow believe in a bubble of goodness that lives here.
But this is just another small town in 2020 America, a selfish, idolatrous place. Today I am deeply, deeply angry. If you love God you have to love humans too. Stop being so damn terrible and prove your love of God by loving each other better.