Daily Devotions for Holy Week

Holy Wednesday

Written By Mary C. Earle

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.”
—John 13:34

In December of 2005, my older son Bryan died at age 31 of brain cancer. In his time of living with the cancer, I had a glimpse of the kind of love that Jesus is speaking of on this Holy Wednesday.

Bryan’s friends stayed with him throughout the sixteen months of surgery and treatment. They continued to be with him as a friend, not as a “case” or as “the cancer patient.” He was cared for by a steadfast group of 30-something men and women who refused to run, refused to hide. They helped him by being present through surgery and recovery, treatment and recurrence. They let Bryan tell the truth, and they walked with Bryan and his family in the four weeks of hospice care leading up to Bryan’s death.

What does love look like? It has many faces, many disguises. What does the love look like that Jesus embodies, this love of God that will not let us go? It looks like being with one another in sorrow and in joy, in wild rides of hope and wrenching moments of diagnostic disclosure.

One writer of the early church observed that the heart of Christian revelation is in the prepositions: “by,” “through,” and (perhaps most importantly) “with.” Being with one another, through the many twists and turns that life brings to us, allows us to embody God’s own life in the world. When we are with one another in both darkness and light, sorrow and joy, we are living the new commandment.

May You who call us friends grant us the grace and the courage to befriend one another, loving each other until the end. Amen.

Copyright © Mary Earle.