This week we get to watch our wonderful granddaughter play four games of hockey. Over the years, Tom and I have taken great pleasure in watching a succession of grandchildren play hockey. I continue to be amazed as the kids respond immediately to the command of their coach and skate off the ice when he decides it’s time for a line change. They know that for the team to play well, each player must respond quickly and willingly to the coach’s directions. I am sure there is a time for questions and complaints, but, in the midst of the game, all obey his command.
As Christians our coach is Jesus. He has lived on this earth and given us a model for loving and caring for others. He lives within each of us today, coaching us – prodding, pulling guiding us – as we live our lives. He, too, expects immediate response to his guidance. He too has time for questions and complaints. Yet we all know that as part of the “Jesus team”, we must respond willingly and quickly to his command that we love one another every day of our lives.
Whether we’re working in a hospital, or school, or climbing a high tower on a construction site or playing a game, or rocking our baby, or having lunch with our moms at the nursing home, Jesus is constantly coaching us to live in love and justice with others. As part of his team we need to follow his commandment “to love our neighbor as Jesus has first loved us.” It’s a mighty simple rule but not easy to follow.
There are people I find difficult to love. For example: the new president of the United States. Still, I know that God calls me to love him as a child of God, whether or not I agree, or disagree with his words and actions. For sure, I know that whatever he says about any of God’s people, my role in this journey of life is love and acceptance. This is Jesus’ command. “Who is my neighbour,” an expert in the law asked Jesus. He answered with a story and a question, “Who was neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus replied, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:2937)