A Lenten Journey In His Steps
Genesis 9:8-17, 1 Peter 2:21-23
Rev. Estelle Margarones
Last week we talked about listening to God and intentionally making changes. The journey of the Exodus is one account of a person—Moses--listening to God and moving forward in faith. Another Biblical account of change is easily found in Genesis, in the story of Noah and the Ark. Noah had only a short time to prepare for the flood, but he trusted God and did what God asked. Today's Scripture tells us that now the flood has passed and God has made a covenant with Noah and all living things on the earth.
A covenant is a sacred bond, a pact, a deal, a holy agreement, signifying an ongoing relationship.
God made a perpetual covenant. That means that God bound Godself to all of humanity forever. The good news is that we're covered by this holy contract.
Are we, like Noah, keeping up our end of the bargain? Are we being good stewards of the earth? Taking care of the animals? Taking care of each other? Are we being grateful for what we have instead of griping about what's been taken away? Are we praising God for new beginnings instead of complaining about things being different than they once were?
The Lenten Journey is one of reflection, where we look at our relationship with God. Christ came here to walk among us to lead by example and show us how to live.
How do you walk in His steps?
Last year, I was visiting friends in Putnam Connecticut. We went to a little antique shop and I picked up a few items including this book. It has a picture of Jesus on the cover and it's called “In His Steps” by Henry Altemus. It was published in 1899 and I'd like to share a little bit of it now.
It was Friday morning and the Rev. Henry Maxwell was trying to finish his Sunday mornings sermon. He had been interrupted several times and was growing nervous as the morning wore away, and the sermon grew very slowly toward a satisfactory finish. “Mary”, he called to his wife, as he went upstairs after the last interruption, “if anyone comes after this I wish you would say I am very busy and cannot come down unless it is something very important. Yes, Henry. But I am going out and you will have the house all to yourself.”
The minister went up into his study and shut the door. In a few minutes he heard his wife go out and then everything was quiet. He settled himself at his desk...and began to write. His text was from First Peter, chapter two, verse 21, “For hereunto were you called; because Christ also suffered for you., leaving you an example that you should follow his steps”
Reverend Maxwell was interrupted by a knocking at the door. He tried to ignore it, but the person persisted. With some annoyance, he finally opened the door to see a scruffy stranger there. The man explained that he was out of work and asked the minister for help. The minister explained that he had no job and when the young man asked about a referral, he simply said that he couldn't help. (pp. 5-7)
On Sunday morning, people arrived for church in their Sunday best. They listened attentively and sang the hymns wholeheartedly. Reverend Maxwell preached his sermon and the people enjoyed what he had to say about Following Jesus. But suddenly, a man's voice came from the back of the church. He walked to the front to face the congregation.
It was the same man who had come to the minister's house. He told the people that he'd been out of work for ten months. His wife had died four months previously and his little girl was living with a former co-worker until this man was able to find a job.
He asked, “What do you Christians mean by following in the steps of Jesus? I tramped through this city for three days trying to find a job. I supposed it's because of the way I look that you've lost your interest. I'm not blaming anybody, just stating facts. ” (p. 14)
Now, I'm sure it hasn't escaped you that of particular interest, is that the minister in this story is happy to speak of religion, but not necessarily live it.
Now I want to share a story of a person living his religion. It is also reason #398 that I love my auto mechanic!
My mechanic is honest, trustworthy, fair, and he cares about his customers as much as he cares for their cars. He once gave me five dollars off an oil change because he had a coupon in a mailer that week. (I didn't have the coupon...and, in fact, I didn't even know about it, but still, he gave me that break.) This is the same man who left his garage at 7am to come to my house to put air in my completely flat tire so that I could drive it to his garage to have a new tire put on. The wind chill was below zero that day and he had no gloves. You see, he doesn't usually leave his heated garage. He could have waited until some of his crew came in and sent them down to help me, but he gave of his own time and talent. When he looked at the tire, he assured me that there was no need to buy one—he could repair it...and save me close to $100.
A week ago Friday, my check engine light came on. I called the garage and asked their advice. Could I drive to Maine this weekend with the 'check engine' light on? One of the crew told me that I'd probably be fine, unless the light was blinking. Then he said he'd check with the boss.
A minute later, he was back on the line to say that they would make time for me. The shop owner would hook it up to the computer to see how serious an issue it was. He was able to determine that I could make the drive to and from Maine so, after church last Sunday, I went to visit my mom, my sister, brother in law, 2 nephews, several cousins, and my 89 and 93 and a half year old aunts.
I wasn't charged for the time, the diagnostic, or resetting my car's computer. The gift my mechanic gave me was much more than monetary. The peace of mind was priceless.
I asked my mechanic's permission to share this story and I invited him to church. That's when he said rather sheepishly, that his kids go to religious education classes, but he doesn't always go to church.
So I hold up two stories today, one fiction about the minister talking the talk. And one true story about the mechanic walking the walk.
I submit to you that my mechanic was keeping the covenantal relationship. A check engine light often points to emissions problems. By correcting the issue (as he did this past Thursday), he was being a good steward of the earth. By making sure that I didn't have a code that signaled imminent danger, John took care of me and those around me by making sure we were safe.
What does it mean to you to follow in Jesus steps? And how are you living it? How are you actively seeking God and reflecting God's light back into the world?
During this Lenten season, we're very aware that when we follow Jesus, the walk will lead us to the Cross. Ultimately, we will rejoice because we know that the Cross isn't the End, but in fact the Beginning!
But still, the walk isn't always easy. In fact, sometimes it's downright difficult.
Will you follow in His steps? It may mean giving of your time and talent without compensation (as in the case of the diagnostic I had done a week ago Friday). It might mean having a difficult conversation. Sometimes it means speaking the truth in love, knowing that what you say may not be what the other wants to hear (as in the case of the $254 repair I had done last week). And it may mean graciously putting up with the way things are, even as you seek to change things (as in the case of driving an older car that does occasionally need repairs until I can buy a new one).
First Peter says, “Jesus suffered for you, leaving you an example” and we're told that we should follow in His steps. Jesus led by example. Are you willing to push yourself past your comfort zone to follow?
During this Lenten Journey, we remember that Jesus walked to that Cross. We will share in the joy and promise of the Resurrection, when we follow in his steps! Blessed be and Amen.
*In His Steps, Charles Sheldon, published in 1899 by Henry Altemus (Philadelphia)
“Listen To Him and Move Forward In Faith”
Rev. Estelle Margarones
Exodus 13:17-18 and 13:20-22 and Mark 9:2-9
This Wednesday is Ash Wednseday, a day marking the beginning of Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter. The question will likely be asked of you this week, “What are you giving up for Lent?” Will it be coffee, chocolate, or your credit card?
As Christians, we are given the opportunity this week to make changes in our lives. Change involves trust, faith, sacrifice and perserverence. The Bible is full of stories of change. One that comes quickly to mind is the story of Moses and the Exodus.
This is a story of listening to God and moving forward in faith. God spoke and Moses listened. The Israelites were living as slaves in Egypt. God instructed Moses to go to Pharoah to have them set free. Moses actually had a moment of doubt when said “Who am I that I should go to Pharoah?” He is then assured of God's presence in his life and God's role in this undertaking. At that time, Moses acted upon what he heard. Moses asked Pharoah to let the people, repeatedly. Pharoh refused repeatedly...until the plagues came and and Pharoah called Moses in the middle of the night and said, “Go!” Change can involve a lengthy process. Moses kept going back to Pharoah asking that the Israelites be set free. And when he finally got the go-ahead, it's not because he was asking Pharoah again, but because he'd already set the stage--more than once.
The Israelites left behind all they knew and moved forward in faith. The people started out excited and happy about their trip. Then they got to the Red Sea, didn't think they could cross it and said it would have been better to have stayed in Egypt. So they hit an obstacle and immediately they were sorry they started out. Change involves trust, faith, sacrifice and perserverence. Moses had faith. He perservered. He trusted God. Moses knew that even though he may encounter a troubled tribe and the loss of relationships with all that at one time was very familiar, he knew that they had to move forward and they did so, not alone, but with God.
On this Transfiguration Sunday, our Scripture tells us that Jesus revealed his true nature in front of three of his disciples. When he was up on the mountain, his clothes became a dazzling white and prophets from ancient times—including Moses--appeared with him and they engaged in dialogue. God's voice came from above, telling the disciples to listen to Jesus...and then, quick as a flash, everything is back to 'normal'. Or is it?
The disciples have been changed by this experience. You, too, can be 'changed' by experiencing a relationship with Jesus. God said, “Listen to Him”. What a gift we've been given in the collection of the life and times and lessons of Jesus in what we call the New Testament! In the Scripture, Peter offered to build Jesus a dwelling place fit for God, high on a mountain. But Jesus didn't stay up on the mountain, he came back down and walked with us. I believe that symbolic walk to go back to regular life teaches us that if we will listen to Jesus, we can change, we can continue Christ's work, thereby changing the world.
We have the Gospels as records of what Jesus said. Among many lessons he taught us, he encouraged us to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, visit the sick, and to invite the stranger in. We can act upon these and any number of instructions Jesus gave us. God said, "Listen to Him".
After seeing homeless women disguising themselves as men in order to get meals at a male-only shelter, on Easter Sunday, 1974, Kip Tiernan opened the first women's only-shelter in the nation, just twenty minutes away in Boston. Started primarily as a center to hand out coffee and used clothes and to give a few needy women a place to sleep; Rosie’s Place, a sanctuary for poor and homeless women, now offers emergency and long-term assistance to women who have nowhere else to turn.
Rosie’s Place has 20 beds and provides an array of services, including a food pantry, a literacy program, and drug and alcohol counseling. You may think that starting and growing a women's shelter is an amazing legacy (and it is), but Kip didn't stop there. In 1979, she began distributing food out of the back of a station wagon. In 1981, The Boston Food Bank was incorporated and in 1990, they distributed 5 million pounds of food. In 2009, the Greater Boston Food Bank distributed 31.5 million pounds of food and grocery products.
No doubt that starting a women's shelter and food bank involved a time of change; a time that involved trust, faith, sacrifice, and perserverence. Kip Tiernan passed away last summer at the age of 85. You can read all about her work on the Rosie's Place website at RosiesPlace.org. Please take note, in the photo on the “About our Founder” page, Kip is wearing a cross.
When Jesus went to the mountain, he showed his true nature. God said to humanity, represented by the disciples, “Listen to Him”. These 40 days leading to Lent are the time to do just that. During Lent, we are invited to draw closer, to listen for that Divine presence, and to walk with Jesus. This week, we are given the opportunity to embark on a journey of 40 days that will lead us to Easter and to the ressurected Christ. On Ash Wednesday, people will gather in churches around the country and around the world to show their faith in Jesus. Celebrating Ash Wednesday is a sign to ourselves that we take that commitment seriously.
For Christians, Lent is a time of trust, faith, sacrifice and perserverence. It's a time of personal reflection, confession, repentenance and hope. And when I say 'confession', I don't mean that you have to come see me to tell me the things you've done of which you're less than proud, I mean opening your heart to Jesus and being made new in him. If you've done some things you're not happy with, or you have some habits that aren't healthy for you or others, this is a perfect time to make changes. This week, Christians all over the world will be consciously making changes.
Some people will be giving things up and others will be taking new things on, all in an effort to become closer to Jesus. But what on earth does giving up chewing gum, chocolate, or coffee have to do with Jesus anyway? It could be that the change you make, your personal sacrifice is a reminder of sacrifice that Jesus made for us. It could be reminiscent of the old tradition of fasting which could have been a method of purifying oneself in honor of Jesus or as a way of getting closer to God. It could simply be that when we don't do something like eating meat or going to the movies, we think of why we're not doing it and thus bring God to mind.
I encourage you to look beyond yourself and see how your sacrifice can have an impact on the greater good. Might you give up taking paper or plastic at the supermarket and instead bring your own re-usable bag? You'd be saving trees and cutting down on the pollution that is a side effect of the production of grocery bags. Might you even give up driving to the grocery store and instead take on walking, which could be healthier for you, could help you save money, and could cut down our dependence on foreign oil? Maybe this Lenten season, your sacrifice is of your time and talent. What can you share with others? Can you donate time at a shelter or food pantry or offer a ride to someone in need?
As followers, we're called to follow the examples Jesus set. Maybe this Lenten season, the change you make is in your attitude or mind-set. Could you give up road rage, annoyance with customer service reps, aggrevation with your boss? Maybe this year, you give up judgement. Change involves trust, faith, sacrifice and perserverence. Sometimes, like Moses, we wonder if we can do it. Sometimes we doubt our own ability. When you're doing something for God, you're doing something with God. Be assured of God's presence in your life! Do you listen for God's voice in your life? Do you follow even when you can't imagine how you'll be able to achieve the goal? Will you move forward in faith? Do you have the courage to start anew? Do you trust that God has it all under control and that all is in Divine Right Order even when you're far from where you want to be? When you walk with Jesus, you are not alone. You can draw on his strength, power, and love to sustain you.
This Wednesday is Ash Wednseday, a day marking the beginning of Lent, the 40 days leading up to Easter. What are you giving up for Lent? Blessed Be and Amen.
Chocolates, Conversation, Compromise: A Love Story
Rev. Estelle Margarones
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Gospel of Luke 10:25-29
Here we are, February 12th. I look forward to this week all year long. We've got a very special day coming up this week. Long stemmed red roses will be delivered, restaurants will be full, and cards will be exchanged. Tuesday is Valentine's Day.
But that special day that I love so much isn't Tuesday, the 14th...it's actually Wednesday, the 15th! Because that's when those big red, heart shaped boxes of chocolates will be 50% off!
Tuesday is Valentine's Day. A day set aside for love. So today we talk about love, but not about loving one other...instead, we talk about loving each other.
In the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament, in Deuteronomy Chapter 6, verse 5 we learn that we should love God with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength. In the New Testament, the Gospel according to Luke, chapter 10, Jesus changes it up a bit. First he says you should love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. Then he adds “and love your neighbor as yourself”.
Before Jesus, and even during his time, a neighbor was regarded as someone who lived nearby, but more, had the same ethnicity, the same language, the same culture, the same religion. Back then, people from different places had different customs. They wore different types of clothing. They spoke different languages...and they were often at odds with each other.
Jesus was asked “who is my neighbor?” and it was rather radical of him to give the example of the Good Samaritan.
You know this story, right? A Jewish man is mugged—he's robbed and beaten and he's left in a ditch. A Jewish rabbi comes by sees him and walks by, a Levite —also a Jewish man— walks by, sees him and turns the other way. A Samaritan comes upon the scene, is moved by what he sees, puts the man on his donkey, bandages his wounds, takes him to an inn and gives the innkeeper money to care for him. He also promises to pay whatever extra it takes to keep the man safe and on the mend.
What makes this so radical is that at that time, the Jewish people and the Samaritans had been enemies for years!
To Jesus, a neighbor was anyone with whom you came in contact. This is a great life lesson for us today. A reminder, as the day we celebrate love approaches, to love your neighbor as yourself.
Love is a way of being in relationship. It's a way of approaching the world
Our neighbors today are those who live near us, but they're also the people shopping alongside us at Shaw's, and dropping off their dry cleaning at Dependable Cleaners, and having dinner at the next booth at the Cheesecake Factory over at the Plaza. In 6 hours, you can be in Europe. And with the world wide web, you can shop at stores in Asia. Our neighbors also people across the globe.
Our neighbors are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and Humanist. Our neigbors speak English and Spanish and Mandarin. Some share your customs; others don't. Some of our neighbors have been here forever and some have just become citizens. Our neighbors are Republicans and Democrats and those who prefer the “unenrolled” designation.
The directive isn't to think like your neighbor. The charge isn't to act like your neighbor. It isn't to agree with everything they think or say or do. And it isn't to judge your neighbor. It's to LOVE your neighbor.
When you love, you care. Caring means that you recognize that we have more in common than we don't. And it sometimes means standing up for what's right even if there is some personal sacrifice or risk.
Martin Niemoller, a German pastor and concentration camp survivor, wrote the poem, “First They Came”.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out --Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me.
We don't always have things in common with our neighbors. Witness, “the Good Samaritan”.
Love is a way of being in relationship. It's a way of approaching the world
Meet Ben. He lives on a farm in rural Maine. His family has owned acres of land for 300 years. Ben is an oil truck driver and his wife is a social worker. They have two little boys. For the past several years, Ben has had a side-business cutting firewood. About a year ago, the house next door was sold. Ben's new neighbor recently came over, angry. He'd been riding his horse when the horse was spooked by the noise of the wood chopper. He threw Ben's new neighbor to the ground.
Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself. So...do you love your neighbor when he comes to your home and yells at you?
You could exchange angry words and tell him that since you pay your taxes, you have a right to do whatever you want.
You might ask that he pick a weekend time when he can ride and during which time you'll refrain from cutting wood? If you have a conversation and come to a compromise, you may even find that he teaches your kids to ride.... and he buys firewood from you!
As humans, we are hardwired with the capacity for compassion.
A couple of weeks ago on the news, you may have seen a bungee jumping accident on the news. A girl jumped off a cliff and a few seconds and several hundred feet into the fall, the bungee cord snapped and the girl hit the water, hard, and was carrried down in the current. Watching that, I felt my heart skip a beat. And I prayed for her. Have you ever had that kind of a reaction? Even though you don't know personally know the person, and even though you will never go bungee jumping, you have compassion for the one who had the accident.
Maybe that's what it was like for the Good Samaritan.
Love is a way of being in relationship. It's a way of approaching the world.
Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Start with a prayer. And a conversation. You will be strengthened when the fabric of your life is open to others.
When you love another, there is compromise. Do you communicate with others? Are you willing to see beyond yourself and to make changes to benefit others? (Will you also ask for what you need?)
When you love another, it's easy to see the good. Do you see the good in others? When you consider your life, do you see the good in yourself?
When you love another, you offer encouragement. Do you support others? (And do you see the possibilities in your own life?)
When you love another, it's easy to do things for that person. Do you care for others? (And do you take care of yourself?)
My friends in faith, when you love God, you live a full, rich, life.
When you love your neighbor you are compassionate, helpful, open to communication and willing to compromise.
When you love yourself, you are peaceful and hopeful, and you reflect God's light right back into the world. So love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. And love your neighbor as yourself. Blessed Be and Amen.
Super Scout Sunday
February 5, 2012
Rev. Estelle Margarones
Isaiah 40:21-31, 1 Corinthians 9:16-23
Today is Super Sunday...because it's Scout Sunday. (And I also hear that there's a football game on later today!)
In the Scripture we just heard, we learned that God is everywhere, all the time, and God gives us strength. That is physical strength, mental strength, and moral strength. It's the courage to try new things and it's the patience to try and try again. Those are all things we use in scouting and in life.
We also learned that Paul talked to different people in different ways, basically taking to them in language they could understand and relate to. For example, if I said “wicked”, some would hear that and think that it was very bad. Others, particularly those here in New England, hear “wicked” and think of it as a very good thing as in “that was a wicked fun ride”.
Today, I'm going to speak to you in a language that I hope you can all relate to...on this Super Sunday.
I see similarities between stadium games, scouting and spirituality. Yes, football, scouting, and Christianity do actually appear to have sevearl things in common.
1. First, there are the uniforms.
Football players have uniforms. And, actually, the fans do too, in a sense.
I bet that already today, you saw people wearing their Patriots gear. Maybe the runners you saw this morning had on Pats baseball caps or the supermarket bagger was wearing a Patriots jersey. Maybe as soon as you leave here, in your car with the Patriots license plate, you'll be putting on jeans and your Patriots sweatshirt.
Scouts have uniforms. And Christians have the opportunity to wear a uniform, too, and to visibly show others our faith. (We'll come back to that in a little bit.)
2. We also all work for the greater good.
In football, each player does his part to help the team win, but it's about more than just the game. Teams have outreach to their communities. The Patriots have a charitable foundation and this year, they've had a season-long campaign called “Celebrate Volunteerism” which, according to their website, honors Myra Kraft's lifetime commitment to philanthropy and charitable service.
The Scout Slogan is “Do a good turn daily”. Scouting is about so much more than doing something to get a merit badge or going on a campout. It's about living the slogan
In Christianity, we want to help others. Jesus modeled that behavior. He talked about feeding the hungry, clothing those who had little, visiting the sick, and more. Today, we support food pantries and social service organizations. We hold hands with people that need our strength and offer prayerful support for people, situations, and the world at large.
3. Another thing we have in common is practice.
Players don't get to an NFL team without years of practice. A team doesn't get to the Superbowl without months of practice.
Scouts learn and practice new skills. A badge or a palm isn't given 'just because--they involve the mastery of a skill...and that only comes with practice.
As Christians, we're given the opportunity to practice our faith everyday. To walk, as Jesus did, here on this earth and to face situations similar to what he must surely have faced. To deal with trying people and unpleasant situations and to be present in a way that shows grace, and love, and hope, and peace.
4. Football, Scouting and Christianity all have rules.
There are rules of the football game, there're laws in scouting; and there are the Ten Commandments and the rules that Jesus gave us. We all play by the same rules.
5. Teamwork is essential.
Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski , and each player has his role, but every person on the team is equally important. They work together to execute plays and win games.
In scouting, teamwork is a fundamental element. Principles and respect are two fundamentals of teamwork.
In Christianity, we're told to Love our Neighbor as Ourselves. We should consider everyone our neighbor. Jesus could have done it all alone, but he didn't. He had a team of twelve disciples. Even when a church takes a collection, when each person puts in what he or she can, that combined effort goes further and makes a greater impact than the funding of one or two alone.
6. We all also have leadership.
In football, there's a coach to lead teams to the Big Game.
In scouting, there are Scoutmasters who help lead youth to adulthood.
In Christianity, Jesus was referred to as a shepherd...one who lead sheep from place to place and kept them safe along the journey.
This is Super Scout Sunday!
May I have a show of hands....(play along if you're willing)...may I have a show of hands of people who either are scouts or were scouts at some point?
Thank you. I, too was a scout. I wonder if your experience was a bit like mine.
I remember the sense of belonging I felt in that uniform. I remember the sense of challenge I felt when attempting something new in order to get a patch and the sense of accomplishment I felt when I'd mastered a new skill and obtained it. I remember the sense of community I felt when we marched together in a parade. And the sense of helpfulness I felt when did good deeds in the community.
Looking back through the lens of one who is older and wiser, I see a lot of parallels between my experiences as a Scout and my experiences as a Christian.
As Christians, don't feel a sense of belonging to a larger community? Isn't there something beautiful and mysterious, yet somehow familiar about every church?
As to that sense of challenge and accomplishment...the gospel of Matthew tells us that With God, All Things Are Possible. As Christians, we know we're never 'going it alone'....God is always with us. And our communities are there for us.
Don't we want follow Jesus and help others?
This is what it means to be Christian. To be part of something that transcends your own personal relationship with God...it's means s we are part of one church and we make up the Body of Christ.
When I went out to sell cookies, I wore my uniform. Today, the scouts are wearing theirs. Earlier, I mentioned that as Christians, we have the opportunity to wear a uniform (and I don't mean a robe or a cross).
How do people know that you're a Christian?
What actions are you showing? What words are you speaking?
How are you both actively seeking God, and reflecting God's light back into the world?
Let's just say there were a Christian 'uniform' we could put on...and it came with a sash. What might be on it? A cross? (Of course). Your church name where the troop number would be? (Sure.)
What else? What would those badges look like? How about praying hands to show relationship with God? Clasped hands...for a show of solidarity? Extended hands to show a sense of helpfulness?
Would you tell others about your badges with a sense of pride? (Do you speak of your Christian experience?)
One critical component of church is relationship. I dare say that one critical component of scouting is also relationship. Earlier today, we heard the Boy Scout Oath. I'm going to read it to you again.
Please listen closely and see if it sounds vaguely familiar:
“On my honor, I will do my best To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.”
Could it be that you heard a similar message here?
From the Gospel of Mark, "you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.”....(and) “You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
As to that Christian uniform, .the gospel of John says this, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Could it be that simple? That the uniform Christians can put on each day is “love”? “By this all mean will know that you are my disciples. If you love one another.”
Blessed Be and Amen.