After washing his disciples’ feet, Jesus offers this new commandment for his followers: “This is my commandment: You shall 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).
What does it mean to love as Jesus loved? Who does Jesus mean when he says that “everyone” will know that we are disciples?
Yesterday, 27 students and 10 dedicated adults attempted to answer those questions and more during a day of service. We know that Jesus showed love in his ministry by healing the sick, feeding the hungry, welcoming the outcast, forgiving others, and showing us the love of God in his life. We tried to follow suit, visiting members of the congregation, serving alongside partners in mission, and working to provide comfort to the sick and food for the hungry.
Here are three snapshots from our work yesterday:
Our oldest team took on the ministry of visitation. They were out and about visiting church members who are no longer able to attend church. As one student shared, “It’s important for people to know that the church is thinking about them, even when we can’t see them every day. I think even the nurses could see that we were there because we loved them.”
Our third and fourth graders traveled to Neighborhood Farms to work with leaders from the Urban Tree Connection weeding and winterizing a farm that helps provide fresh produce to community centers around Philadelphia. One student shared: “The farm helps feed many people. There were projects that we didn’t finish, but hopefully they could see that we were there to help too.”
Our youngest students stayed at the church. We made cookie dough that will be
delivered to Our Brother’s Place later this month, helped plant flowers to welcome people to our congregation, and made blankets for people in the hospital. On one card that will accompany our blankets, a participant offered, “I hope you feel warm and this cloth feels soft. We love you.”