Love one another

I’m guest preaching this Sunday, the Fifth Sunday of Easter, and the Gospel for the day includes Jesus’ new commandment of love: “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” (John 13:34)

This is the second time I’ve preached since my retirement. The first was Maundy Thursday, when the Gospel also includes this new commandment—mandatum nova—which is the root of our name for the day.

I seem to be developing a rather narrow preaching specialty.

But I was thinking about that and wondering if it would be fair to say that this one sentence—love one another as I have loved you—actually contains the entire Gospel.

What do you think?

I think our recent clergy conference speaker would disagree on a number of counts. I can see that “the greatest commandment” contained in the Shema is missing—You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27).

But I wonder if there is any other way we mortals are actually able to love God except by loving our neighbor.