Thought for the Month of May 2024

 By Danny Lamb

This is the lectionary reading for today, Sunday 5th May, which is the sixth Sunday of Easter. I would like you to take some time out to read it before I write anything more, to read it slowly, not just with a reflective purpose as to what the words may mean, but also how they may make you feel, and then I’ll join you once again.

The Gospel of John (15.9 – 17 NRSV)

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing, but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.

I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

I’m back…. Lectionary readings are of course piecemeal extracts of Scripture, seemingly designed to reflect the liturgical seasons of the church, whilst also providing a universal morsel of theology, that is open for both Christian interpretation and reflection. So, it’s no surprise then that when writing a sermon or perhaps a thought for the month, that this is a good place to go for some divine inspiration, as to what it is that God wants you to talk about, and so that is what I did. Sometimes though, as you pour over the readings, the relevant message is not always clear, it can often require a lot of interpretation to give a more contemporary context, or to seek the revelation of some deeper theological meaning, but that is not the case today.

It just so happens that this is my most favourite piece of scripture, which is quite a statement considering all the amazing content to be found in the Bible itself, but these words of Jesus, according to John, resonate deeply within my desires for the world around me and are the foundations for my Christian purpose in life itself. If I was ever to encounter someone who asked me “what does it mean to be a Christian?” I would by way of explanation, offer up this passage from John as a very simple statement of common purpose, I really don’t think you can read it and not understand what is being asked of us, after all, how can anyone call themselves Christian and not understand their purpose in the world?

These words of Jesus are spoken on the day before his crucifixion, the ultimate sacrifice in the name of the love that He talks of, a sacrifice that only He knows is coming, and whilst we now know that it has a divine purpose, we are offered through this reading, the opportunity to also share in his humanity too, the part of him that allows those there listening and indeed all of us today, to make a human connection with. There is incredible intimacy in the way He speaks, because these are His closest friends and followers, and their time together is at a close. Gone is the master and servant formality, there are no more parables to interpret, no teaching in the manner they have become accustomed to, He has given them everything His Father wanted them to have, what they are hearing now comes from Him personally, this is the language of true friendship and of love, of someone trying to say farewell in the most sincerest and devotional of ways, it is beautiful and moving and it is why I want to be a Christian.

Your thoughts for this month? Do you have a favourite piece of scripture that truly resonates within? One that perhaps motivates, inspires, consoles or reassures you. How have you come to recognise your own Christian purpose in the world?

Should keep you going until June!


Faithful God, in whose love we are called to abide,

help us to find ways to offer each other the gift of devoted friendship.

May your Holy Spirit give us the resolve to keep your commandments of love for each other and for the world in which we live.

May the sacrifice of your son, borne out of your love for us all, inspire us to also make sacrifices for others, always seeking each other’s best welfare, bearing each other’s burdens and sharing each other’s joy.

 through the love and friendship of Jesus Christ our Lord.