Acts 11:1-18; Psalm 148; Revelations 21:1-6; John 13:31-35
For all you women out there holding flowers, this story is for you.
There were three men who died and before God would let them into heaven, God gave them a chance to come back as anything they wanted.
The first guy said, "I want to come back as myself, but 100 times smarter."
So God made him 100 times smarter.
The second guy said, "I want to be better than that guy, make me 1000 times smarter."
So God made him 1000 times smarter.
The last guy decided he would be the best. So he said, "God, make me better than both of them, make me 1,000,000 times smarter.
So God made him a woman.
We give thanks today for our mothers and for all the women who give so much of themselves to make this world a better place.
In the Gospel today Jesus gives us a new commandment to love one another. Not only is this commandment appropriate for Mothers Day and for a baptism Sunday but it is essential for every member of St. Philip's.
First of all, this commandment Jesus gives us is not entirely new. Leviticus 19:18 says, "You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord." This law from the Jewish Torah commanded Israelites to love only other Israelites. Leviticus 19:34 increases the scope of the earlier commandment. "The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizens among you. You shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God."
Jesus tells his disciples "I give you a new commandment." What is new about this commandment?
It provides a clear model of the kind of love required. To know how we are to love each other, we only have to look at Jesus' life and ministry. No one has greater love than to lay down their life for their friends. Jesus gave the ultimate in love. Most of us will fall sho ...
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