I hope you're finding some way to enjoy this beautiful weather. Today's reading introduces an interesting paradox in John's writing. This isn't the only place he says it, but here he tells his readers that he is giving them a commandment that is at the same time "from the beginning" and new. That commandment is the same commandment Jesus gave his disciples at the last supper: "Love one another." There's nothing new about love; it's been our calling from the beginning, and it is the foundation of faith and of ethics. At the same time, if we truly love others, that always leads us into new understanding and new areas for action. Without loving others, we can't follow Jesus, because he was all about love in his life.
1 John 2:1-11
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; 2and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 3Now by this we may be sure that we know him, if we obey his commandments. 4Whoever says, “I have come to know him,” but does not obey his commandments, is a liar, and in such a person the truth does not exist; 5but whoever obeys his word, truly in this person the love of God has reached perfection. By this we may be sure that we are in him: 6whoever says, “I abide in him,” ought to walk just as he walked.
7Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning; the old commandment is the word that you have heard. 8Yet I am writing you a new commandment that is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9Whoever says, “I am in the light,” while hating a brother or sister, is still in the darkness.10Whoever loves a brother or sister lives in the light, and in such a person there is no cause for stumbling. 11But whoever hates another believer is in the darkness, walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness.