Thursday, June 24, 2021


    Greetings All,

    As promised,

 this is a wrap up of 

 last week's posting,


That posting is available 

  by scrolling down 

  past this offering, 

      or going to

     Blog Archive,

     June 17, 2021.

  This week's offering 

continues our reflection on

     John 13: 34-35



Dear All of Us,

Actually flying an airplane 

proves you are a pilot.

Actually serving up a 

gourmand's delight

proves you are 

a master chef.

Actually writing 

a best seller

proves you are 

a popular novelist.

Actually loving 

the socks off

your fellow disciples

proves you are a 

disciple of Jesus.

   "This is how everyone 

    will recognize that 

    you are my disciples - 

    when they see 

    the love you have 

    for each other." (1)



 and only actuality, 




what we're all about.


Training, certifications, 

credentials, memberships, 

positions, testimonials,

are all fine thank you, 

but they don't mean 

that one is a master chef.

       A superb 

beef bourguignon does.

          It is



So it is with being 

disciples of Jesus


- genuine and real -

Roles, robes, rituals,

dogmatic statements,

theological degrees,

denominational status,

don't cut the mustard.

Personally, practically, 


     -  and only  -

   living Jesus Love

   for fellow disciples



Let's check this out.

We want to make sure 

we get it right.

Just about everything 

rides on it.

In Jesus' time and place,

rabbis had disciples.

Those disciples lived 

with the rabbi 24/7,

travelled and ate with him.

They were apprenticed 

to the rabbi to become rabbis.

They were to become rabbis

by becoming like their rabbi.

They learned from his teaching 

and they leaned from his living.

The goal was to become

a who and how like the rabbi.

Rabbi Jesus is the 

     Son of God 


  " God is love." (2)

Rabbi Jesus 

   is God, 

is God Love,

in our midst,

God Love humanized,

God Love in "person," 

God Love in the flesh,

    our flesh.

Rabbi Jesus is 

   God Love

and does he ever 

    share it.               

That's who he is.

That's what

he's all about.

That's what he does.

It's personal.

It's communal.

It's actual.

       Rabbi Jesus

       calls disciples 

- long ago and right now -

      Rabbi Jesus

   loves his disciples 

        into love.

      He wraps us

     into his love for 

    our fellow disciples.

To be a disciple of Jesus 

  is to be drawn into 

who he is and how he is 


 so much so that it shows: 

    "This is how everyone 

    will recognize that 

    you are my disciples -

    when they see the love 

    you have for each other"


        Proof Positive

that we are disciples of Jesus

     It's the only proof 

      that's positive.

All this means 

that as disciples 

we are blest

to become one 


  Jesus' Love

and that we live 

it out together,


  and not just 

notionally claim it.

Jesus Love means 

we reverence,

we give what we have

for what other disciples need.

In practice  ( actuality ) 

it means things like::

     - to cut them slack 

       when they come up short 

     - to see and reverence God 

       in another disciple's 

       disfigured body or psyche 

     - to "deep listen" 

       to each other

       until we hear 

       our Oneness


       quite differently,

       even if uncomfortably

     - to rejoice in the 

       preferment of another

    - to gratefully take 

      what we need 

      and generously give 

      what others need.

    - to make space and 

      encourage others 

      to grow fully into 

      who and how they are 

      by God's giftedness,

      even we don't "get it."

   -  to live modestly 

      and share so that others 

      can live adequately

      ( to pony up rather than 

        trot off insensitive

        and self indulgent )

     - to host with heart and home

     - to boil/bake "Everything Bagels"

       as a community -

       to be a mix of 

       all sorts, styles, types,

       ages, orientations, tastes,

         and persuasions -

       conservative, liberal, 

       gay, straight, 

       well off, poor,

       refined, rough,

       reserved, rip roaring,

       poetic, scientific, athletic

       or a mix of much

     - to love enough to challenge evil

       and to accept frailty among us

     - to be "in touch" -  connecting, 

       to check, care, comfort,

       support, celebrate each and all

       way more together than for just 

       a Sunday morning hour

    - to gather together for meals, 

       mission, and certainly mirth

     - to pray together,

       to share Holy Communion

       by bread and wine,

       by acceptance, embrace 

       in community

We need to be together

to be and do all this.

Showing up Sunday morning 

with large numbers of strangers

doesn't bake the bagel.

We either form small groups

within large congregations,

or we start home churches.

We live, as the Italians say,

"faccia a faccia,"

up close and personal,

lovingly, actually.

To be disciples is 

to be church and 

church is way more 

than organization,

or belonging system.

Loving the socks 

off each other

is so dynamic 

that it fuses 

and propels us 

as individuals and 

as a community

in mission 

and ministry.

We do what we are.

In reflective prayer,

with candor and clarity,

we see what Jesus 

sets before us

in John 13:34-35,

and how we are with that.

How fully, how actually,

how really are 

we living 24/7

with Rabbi Jesus?

What's that look like, 

or could it look like?

Let's be quite clear, 

candid and specific here -

the wheels we ride, 

dealing with hurt feelings,

being relationally frustrated,

forgiving a massive screw over,

putting out time, energy 

and money for someone 

at the bottom 

of the totem pole,

together going wild over

a summer flower field,

holding a fellow disciple's baby 

and being touched by God

( Oh Yes, Ollie touches me God ).

Are we learning him 

from that immediacy?

Are we learning him 

from his teaching 

and life style

as we together we let 

The Spirit open

the Gospels to us?

Are we woven tight 

into a fabric of 

lived community

    with him 

and his disciples?

Do we mix it up

really, personally,

in close, with vigorous 

love for each other,

the way Jesus loves us? 

When someone walks 

into our church 

for the first time,

and then after 

being there six months, 

what kind of lived love, 

Jesus Love,

disciples love

for each other

will they see?

Will they find it is


What does this mean 

for church life,

for church renewal,

for church growth?

What will we do 

about that?

Loving each other

as Jesus loves us 

identifies us as

his disciples,

and does our world 

just now ever need 

actual disciples and

that kind of


 Your fellow apprentice,

      John Frank


(1) John 13:35

(2) i John 4:8


This week we had 

a first time visit from 


and large scale

participation again from 


How wonderful!


and welcome to all 

newly with us 

and letting us 

be with you

here at

    "frankly speaking"

 spirituality for the street 


early morning 

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What would be ten practical, 

        actual ways to

      "Love each other 

    as I have loved you" ?

      See you next week! 




Church membership 

is rather easy and not 

all that demanding.

Being in actuality 

a disciple of Jesus

is quite different and 

one heck of a lot 

more demanding.

  It means that 

  in actuality 

  we fervently



    live love 


fellow disciples.

 It's functional 



The context for what 

Jesus shares here

      is critical.

In his time and place

only the brightest 

of the bright

made the cut to be 

a rabbi's disciples.

They has to persuade

the rabbi to accept them.

Jesus comes along 

and invites less than 

bright lights

to come follow him 

  - still does 

In ancient Israel 

a disciple was an 


The disciple had to learn 

the teachings of the rabbi,

travel with him and the band 

of other disciples.,

live with him,

model his whole life on him,

- his manner, values, 

  value system, life style.

  That meant all sorts 

  of study and erudition.

For Jesus it meant  

to live the love that is God

with and for your fellow disciples.

That was your credential.

That was your I.D, your 


      as a disciple.


       IT STILL IS

Doctrines, rituals, 

practices and polities

a disciple do not make.