I Give You a New Commandment


May 13, 2019

By Frank Basler.

Rev. Frank Basler is a coach, psychotherapist, spiritual companion, and facilitator of clergy support groups.
 


Scripture:   John 13:31-35 (Living Bible)

As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “My time has come; the glory of God will soon surround me—and God shall receive great praise because of all that happens to me. And God shall give me his own glory, and this so very soon. Dear, dear children, how brief are these moments before I must go away and leave you! Then, though you search for me, you cannot come to me.
 “And so I am giving a new commandment to you now—love each other just as much as I love you. Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

 

Reflection: I give You a New Commandment
 

As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “My time has come; the glory of God will soon surround me—and God shall receive great praise because of all that happens to me. And God shall give me his own glory, and this so very soon. Dear, dear children, how brief are these moments before I must go away and leave you! Then, though you search for me, you cannot come to me.
 “And so I am giving a new commandment to you now—love each other just as much as I love you. Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
 
Reflection:
 
Our son has started his own home health care business.  I’ve been collecting stories of outstanding care – either by family members or professional care givers.  We’ll share these stories with our caregiver team to give them ideas of things they can do to enhance the lives of their clients.
 
Here’s a story told by a friend whose wife [M] had Lou Gehrig’s disease compounded by dementia.  After two years of taking care of her while trying to run his business, my friend was exhausted.  As he tells it,

"Three professional home care nurses walked away after one day in my home.  Then R… announced herself at my front door, knowing about the three who had walked out.  “I am R.  Never fear, I am here! "


She was my sense of a saint.  She came with a bible.  She would have it there on the table…. She really cared.  She was totally into M.  She loved M.  She loved me.  She was giving.  There was no me in her.  It was all about others."

 “Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples.

Clearly, R is a disciple.  I’ve met many such disciples as I interview potential members for our team.  I tell them I’m a pastor and ask, “Are you a lady of faith?”  Invariably this leads to a lively discussion of how, in so many words, they view their work as ministry.  I am regularly in awe of a woman sitting across a Dunkin Donuts table from me as I hear about her unshakable faith in God – and her patience in putting up with the abuse she sometimes experiences.

Few of these disciples of Jesus make more than $13/hour, and most face periods of unemployment between cases.  God is working in the world!  Caregivers are organizing! Those directly employed by their elderly and disabled clients, but paid through state and federal programs won a contract with the State – through their union – that will bring their hourly wage up to $16.25 in mid-2020.  Jesus would approve!
 

Prayer:

Holy One, may we allow ourselves to be instructed in love and faith by some of the least among us.  And may we defend their right to organize for a living wage!  Amen.


New Prayer Requests:

We ask churches and church leaders to join us in the following prayers either by sharing them during worship, printing them in bulletins, or sharing them in some other way. To make a prayer request, please contact Drew Page at drewp@ctucc.org.

Prayers of Intercession:

  • For friends and family of Dr. Allen Fanslow, a deacon at Unity Hill UCC in Trumbull, active member of the Fairfield East Association and a CT Conference Delegate. Allen died on May 7.
  • For those who suffer or grieve as a result of senseless acts of violence.

Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving:

  • For those fighting for fair wages and economic justice for all in our state government

Please Remember These Connecticut Conference Churches
In Your Prayers:

Norwalk
Miracle Temple Church of God in Christ of Norwalk Inc
 
Norwalk
United Congregational Church of Norwalk
 
Norwich
First Congregational Church of Norwich UCC
 
Norwich
Park Congregational UCC
 
Old Greenwich
The First Congregational Church of Greenwich


This Week in History:
May 17, 1954, (65 years ago) Brown v. Board of Ed is decided by the U.S. Supreme Court declaring racial segregation unconstitutional for public education facilities. The decision helped move along the civil rights movement of the 60's, but many experts agree that, 6 decades later, public schools remain quite segregated in terms of percentages of minority population.

Starting With Scripture: May 13, 2019 , by Frank Basler.