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The Rev. Dr. Scott Black Johnston The Rev. Dr. Scott Black Johnston

The Rev. Dr. Scott Black Johnston is senior pastor of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York, NY.

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Presbyterian Church (USA)

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Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York, NY


Dr. Scott Black Johnston: By Our Love

November 19, 2010

You know the song.

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord.
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord;
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored;
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.
They will know we are Christians by our love.

It was written by Peter Scholtes, a Catholic priest. It conveys the sweet side, the swaying, hand-holding side of the decade in which it was written-the 1960's.  It also points to something that Jesus clearly, repeatedly proclaimed:  To be his disciple is to be identified not by words, or doctrines, or moral purity, but by the love you show to your neighbor.

This week I am finishing up a sermon series that has focused (for ten weeks) on various commands that Jesus gave to the disciples.  We have made our way through:  Knock, Wash, Thank, Spit, Share, Fear (not), Feast, Visit, and Raise.

Week #10 is... Love.

It is probably the most important, most distinctive, most life-changing thing that Jesus asked his disciples to do.  It is also the most difficult one to describe.  It is a force that changes the course of many a life, and yet it is ephemeral.

Even our best poets struggle to describe it.

But, I am not looking for poetry... I am looking for "testimony." What does Christian love look like? Seen it recently?  Seen it ever?

Please share.  Be bold.  Take a shot at describing this virtue of virtues...

I am eager to hear what you have to say.

[Taken with permission from Dr. Scott Black Johnston's blog, "Sharp About Your Prayers," Nov. 15, 2010.]


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