John 13:31-35 At the last supper, when Judas had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to Everyone will, 'Where I am going, you cannot come.' I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Reflection Jesus does not tell us what to believe. He shows us how to live, “as I have loved you” This is the difference between orthodoxy, right belief, and orthopraxy, right behavior. Orthodoxy gives us propositional statements or doctrine to believe and profess in order to be identified with a particular religious group and thus be in God’s favor. Orthopraxy shows us how to live in right relationship with God and all people.
One of the reasons I love the Episcopal tradition is that it is a way of life based in practice, orthopraxy, rather than doctrine. Everyone will know who we are by who we invite to God’s table, who we allow to receive God’s sacraments, who is allowed to lead worship. Everyone will know who we are because we continue in the prayers and practices begun in the first centuries of this era. Everyone will know who we are by the book we use to order our worship and remember the prayers and documents handed down to us through history. Everyone will know who we are because we still call our 1979 Book of Common Prayer the new prayer book. Everyone will know who we are because we bring reason, tradition and experience to interpret the scriptures and have no distinctive Anglican/Episcopal theology. Everyone will know who we are because we engage questions and reject certainty. Everyone will know who we are because we seek unity rather than uniformity. Everyone will know who we are because in our prayers and in our practice we intend to live in right relationship with God and all people. Everyone will know who we are because we have love for one another.
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