"If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love . . . I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another." - John 15:9,10
In my social settings, the person whose faith leads with commandments is pretty sure to find themselves isolated in a corner.
Perhaps you've met the type – the person who loves the word "abomination" and needs us to know everything we're doing wrong. The one who memorizes scripture to make sure that we understand how justified God would be to break up with us.
Since so few of us are looking for this kind of companionship, the abomination-dwellers tend to abide – or live – in the corner, further drawn away from the ones they feel they need to reach.
When Jesus told his friends to abide in his love, do you think he meant that we should dwell in a corner?
As I write this, something occurs to me.
I'm the one in the corner.
I'm the one with "the answers" to Gospel truth.
I'm the one who really knows what Jesus meant about love.
And as I memorize and employ God's Word to make my point more strongly, I realize that it might be really tough to "abide" (one of the churchy words I memorized) in God's love facing two walls.
Maybe it's time to turn around. Maybe that's what they were talking about when they told me to "repent" so that, at the very least, I might see them as they speak.
God, may I be willing to step away from my corner long enough to enter the conversations you need me to have without emerging with the lasting blows I was trying to avoid in the first place. Amen.
Kaji Douša is the Senior Pastor of The Park Avenue Christian Church, a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, in New York City./div>