This Sunday’s Gospel reading is John 15.9-17
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
In Genesis, we are told that Satan persuaded Adam and Eve to see God as a competitor. Satan says that if they eat the forbidden fruit they will become like God – and that God doesn’t want that!
This is a complete distortion. You can’tbecome like God by grasping after his power – by competing with him, or with each other. For in Christ, we see that God is the very opposite of that. As St Paul writes
Jesus, though in the form of God
did not cling to equality with God
but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant.
Jesus becomes human so we can share the divine nature. Jesus becomes a servant, that we might be changed from servants into friends.
This is extraordinary – it gives us some idea of the dignity God gives to human beings. And this is a dignity we discover together, not by seeing each other as rivals.
Prayers for Contextual Theology Centre and Church Urban Fund
The dignity of human beings is a central theme in Christian social teaching, inspiring campaigns such as those by Citizens UK and Church Action on Poverty for a Living Wage. Pray for the work CTC and CUF are doing to promote Christian prayer, reflection and action on these issues – and plans for the next stage of the Call to Change initiative.