In this week's gospel Jesus tells his disciples not just to love one another in a general sense, but to love one another, "as I have loved you." Why is this qualification important? The love that Jesus embodied was anything but simple, one-dimensional, or shallow. Jesus loved passionately, and intensely, and even gently, but the love he embodied also included things like accountability, conflict, challenge, discomfort, and uncertainty. He flipped tables, he called out Peter, he spoke prophetically to challenge the leaders of his religious community, he pushed against the oppressive systems of empire, he healed people, and ate with people, and had intimate moments with people and all of this was love to Jesus. He did it out of a deep, abiding, multifaceted foundation of love for people, for the world, and for his community. This was not a passive, nice, good-vibes-only kind of love. How do you think about love generally, or the loving relationships in your life? What would change if you included conflict, challenge, or discomfort in your definition of love? How do you see others practicing love in a radically countercultural way in the world today?
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