I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35).
This is the new commandment Jesus gave the disciples on the night of the Last Supper, the night he was arrested. Earlier this year I wrote a post on seeing the love Jesus talked about in action in Egypt as Christians and Muslims protected each other through two terrorist attacks and during the marches. It’s happening again. This is from The Lead at Episcopal Cafe:
Egyptian muslims have been using social media late this week to organize an effort to protect their Christian neighbors this weekend during their Easter celebrations. It’s the second time this has happened since the church bombing on New Year’s Day. Christians returned the favor during the Tahir Square protests.
Considering the latest sectarian tensions and hate speech that have hit the country, especially after the mass demonstrations witnessed at Qena demanding the resignation of the governor for being a Christian, many fear that Egypt’s Coptic community may be at risk.
Muslims have before turned up in droves for the Coptic Christmas mass, offering their bodies and lives as ‘shields’ to protect Egypt’s Christian community following the terror attacks that struck the country on New Year’s Eve, targeting the Two Saints Church in Alexandria and leaving 21 dead.
Similarly, during Egypt’s revolution, Christians in Tahrir Square acted as human shields to protect praying Muslims as the demonstrators were threatened by attacks from pro-regime thugs and snipers.
This is how the commandment Jesus gave us the night he was betrayed and arrested looks like in real life. It’s an image I will keep in my heart as I travel through the Easter season.
0 thoughts on “A New Commandment I Give You: Love One Another”
Thank you for this. I was raised in Greece and as part of the Greek Orthodox church and Easter triggers memories of home, community and belonging. I have recounted the traditions, revisited the gospels, listened to the hymns from far away. This post triggered lovely memories – and prompted me to look up another one of my favorite writings on love: The Hymn on Love (Paul’s First Letter to Corinthians). Happy Easter!
Happy Easter Roxanne! I’m just learning to appreciate the full rituals of the church and Holy Week. I grew up Evangelical: we went from Palm Sunday to Easter. I love how visceral Vigils is. It has become my favorite Holy Week service.
I hope you have a joy-filled and peace-filled Easter!