The Disciple Jesus Loved?

When you read through the book of John, you’ll see a specific individual referenced, but never by name…

“The disciple whom Jesus loved”.

Now, we know that this references the Apostle John, one of Jesus’ closest/best friends, but John never actually names himself… I wonder why that is? And we’ll get to that at the end, but think about it for a minute…

What a pretentious title to give yourself.

Imagine if I walked around calling myself “The citizen whom the president loved”. And not because he ever specifically said, “I love you most”, but because I believed that I was really loved by him.

You would think I was crazy, arrogant, and stuck up!

But that is not what John intended at all. Continue reading

This is the Correlation of Salvation and Love

“This is the correlation of salvation and love
Don’t drop your arms
Don’t drop your arms, I’ll guard your heart
With quiet words I’ll lead you in”
~ “The Unwinding Cable Car” by Anberlin

I have been listening to this song a lot, and the chorus here keeps getting stuck in my head, and I’m sitting here thinking about these lines, and wondering “what is the correlation of salvation and love in our lives?” You see, the word correlation (according to the Oxford-American dictionary) means “a mutual relationship or connection between 2 or more things”. So where does our love meet our salvation? How do those outside of our little church seats see it? Often I don’t think many of us really think about it. One of the things I absolutely love is the youth (Amplify Youth Group) at my church (Gap Community Church) this summer, because I see the correlation of salvation and love in their lives. (Now I get to brag how awesome they are for a minute…) They are going to be doing this thing called “The Servants Journey” and they are going to be doing a bunch of service project things in the community, and it is so cool to see them get fired up for this. We also have a group of kids who go into Lancaster city every week and work with the homeless. When they go, they don’t go and be like “hi, we’re from a church, and a youth group and this and that” they just are doing it anonymously, and to me, that shows that there are no hidden motives beneath them doing this. I am so honored to know kids who are that selfless and willing to serve…

Ok, enough bragging on the awesome kids… So what is our correlation, our meeting place, of our salvation and love? It can be something so simple as taking the time to talk to or hang out with someone. I think that selfless service is what it is all about. When Christ said to us that we should go and serve people in love. This is also I think what James meant when he said that Faith without works is dead. (James 2, like verse 26 or something like that) If we have salvation, but we don’t do anything with it, what good is it? We can love people, and do good things, but they don’t get us salvation, the two MUST meet somewhere. I think to long, the church has sat around and not served the people it is there for. There is a story (and I don’t know how true it is) about a city that was under siege, and those of the church sat in their building while the city was crumbling around them, discussing if the Virgin Mary had blue eyes or not. Even if the story isn’t true, the fact that the church has a reputation that would let people believe that the story might be true is so disgusting to me. I was reading a book for staff meeting at GCC, and there is a quote that goes along so well with this post: “We all seem to pretty contented with ourselves in church and that makes me sick. I think all this contentment makes Jesus nervous.” ~ Robert Coles, Wittenburg Door. When people around us are fighting battles, we should be there, saying to them don’t drop your arms, don’t give up, I’ll help you, I’ll fight along side you… I want us to fight this image that people have of the passive church, and I know it feels like we are going to be fighting an impossible, uphill battle, but nothing worth doing is ever done without a fight of some sort…

“You’re so brilliant
Don’t soon forget
You’re so brilliant
Grace marks your heart”

thoughts?