Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A New Commandment

"A new commandment I give to you, 
that you love one another"
John 13:34

I love baseball.  All of it.  I can watch a game between any two teams, and enjoy it as much as when I'm watching my favorite team.

My favorite team is the Dodgers.  They always have been, even when I didn't live in California.  Loyalty to a team is not about geography, though.  Sometimes it's about genetics.  My love for the Dodgers is hereditary. 

Baseball is a gentler sport than others, if you ignore the occasional bench-clearing brawl... Unlike other sports, there is no clock, and every stadium is unique, and this history of the game lends itself easily to both nostalgia and patriotism.

And baseball is a game for optimists.  I think every team, and every fan but the most cynical, believes that at Spring Training, anything is possible.  That this is the year. 

For years, the Dodgers had their Spring Training in Vero Beach, Florida, at a complex called Dodgertown.  It's a storied place.  The Dodgers trained there from 1949 to 2008, and it holds a hallowed place in baseball history.  It was called "Baseball Heaven," and they said that at Dodgertown, the view was so spectacular, you could see all the way to October.

We're getting down to the "difficult part" in our study of John in my Bible study.  We're into the last hours of Jesus' life, and while I'm reading about what happened to Jesus, I've got one eye on what's going to happen.   As I read about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, I'm thinking about the cross.  Then when I'm reading about the cross, I'm thinking about the resurrection.  Then when I'm reading about the resurrection, I'll be thinking about when He comes again.

I was reading chapter 13 this week, and realizing that Jesus is kinda doing this too.  It's a chapter that includes Jesus telling the disciples that one of them will betray Him, and also telling Peter that he will deny Him.  It's saddening to Jesus, I'm sure.

But in the middle of those two downers, is the new commandment ~ "Love one another as I have loved you."   In the middle of those two difficult subjects, is the subject of love.  It's a reminder to me that the impact of Jesus' love, far outweighs the impact of those who hurt Him.

The pain is what stands out to when we are hurting.  But there's so much more going on.  He is doing things in our lives, all the time, if we let Him.  Growing us, blessing us, blessing others through us.

It matters what you choose to look at.  How far can you see?

 ~ "By this, all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another" ~
John 13:35 

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