Is Love a Duty? Questions for John 15:9-17
I invite you to read the Gospel lesson for the coming week from John 15:9-17. Read it closely. What does it say to you? Is love something that can be commanded? That's the question I intend to explore in my sermon for Sunday, but I'm interested to hear what you might say in this regard. Keep in mind the two great commands that Jesus reiterates in the Synoptic Gospels -- love God and love neighbor. Here Jesus says -- you are my friends if you do as I command, and the command is to love.
9 “As the Father loved me, I too have loved you. Remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy will be in you and your joy will be complete. 12 This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I don’t call you servants any longer, because servants don’t know what their master is doing. Instead, I call you friends, because everything I heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You didn’t choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you could go and produce fruit and so that your fruit could last. As a result, whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. 17 I give you these commandments so that you can love each other. (John 15:9-17 Common English Bible).
As you ponder this text, remember that the text will be used on Mother's Day. How does a mother's love help us understand this call to love?