Monday, December 27, 2010

St. John, Evangelist... and...

Today is the Feast of St. John, Evangelist. I find that often John gets the short end of the stick sometimes. He is a Gospel writer, and also the writer of Epistles. He is the Apostle with the longest career. He's the Apostle who ends up taking on early Gnosticism. And in the early Church, He was highly respected. People would trace their lineage (educationally speaking) back to John.

Yet, he seems to take second fiddle to us in American today ("harumph, what do you mean us?" I'm speaking in generalities - if you are observing St. John today, bully for you). Paul takes so much precedence today among most Protestants, the Romans love to point to Peter, and the liberals love to focus on Mark... um, or Q, or, well, something. And of course, the 3 year lectionary decides that his Gospel is the one that doesn't really need a thorough, systematic approach. We'll just cut it up and toss it in where can find room.

Yet, John is the one I appreciate most. John is the writer of love. Everything is summed up by John in love. The Law? Love. Love your neighbor. Don't even think you love God if you don't love your neighbor. The Gospel? God loves you -- God fulfills the Law for you, and God pours our His love upon you, and because of this, you have salvation in Christ Jesus. Everything is about God and His love, everything flows from there.

I'd even argue that Revelation is nothing else than a writing showing that God's love endures forever, through all diversity of situation.

It's good that John gets his feast day. I just wish we learned from him more often.

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