Jesus, standing before Pilate, the Roman governor of Jerusalem, on Maundy Thursday, said this when asked if he was a king:
You say that I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.
For the last Sunday of the church year, this is an interesting reading from the gospel according to St. John. Yet it serves as a reminder that God’s truth is LOVE. Written about 70 years following the resurrection of Jesus, the Johannine congregations had almost two generations to reflect and be guided by the Holy Spirit. They were now less focused on the immediate return of Jesus and more focused on how do we continue to lead lives worthy of being his disciples. Rather then a king in the mold of David, the warrior king, Jesus modeled servant kingship. Jesus loved by healing, by eating with tax collectors, and sinners, by washing the feet of his disciples, by inviting others to follow him on the way of love. St. Paul in writing to the conflicted congregation in Corinth, Greece wrote:
Faith, hope, and love abide, these three and the greatest of these is love. Pursue love.
As we close out one church year and enter the next with the First Sunday of Advent, we journey with the pregnant Mary who said “Yes” to God, “I am your servant.” My hope is always that we follow her lead and say “Yes” to the God of Love for Love is the Truth of God. As we live that truth, as we live that love, we will be living here and now into the eternal life of those who love the Lord.