April 13, 2016
For Immediate Release
|Rev. Nathl L. Moore, pastor of First African Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky., reminds
students, faculty and staff of Christ’s most significant commandment. (Campbellsville
University Photo by Rachel DeCoursey)
By Jesse Harp, student news writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Students, staff and faculty were sent into the Easter weekend by the Rev. Nathl L. Moore, pastor of First African Baptist Church in Lexington, Ky., on March 23 in Ransdell Chapel, with the reminder of Christ’s most significant commandment: to love.
Moore, of Huntsville, Ala., referenced John 13:34-35 where Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Moore approached this verse and commandment in relation to the chapel theme, “Partners in the Gospel,” by emphasizing that what the world needs more of is love for one another.
“What the world needs now is love, sweet love,” he said, quoting lyrics from the song “What The World Needs Now Is Love” by Jackie DeShannon. “It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. What the world needs now is love, sweet love. No, not just for some but for everyone.”
He shared his own personal ties with this message of all-encompassing love as well.
“In the words of my 99-year-old grandmother,” he said, “what the world really needs now more than ever is the love of Jesus Christ.”
According to Moore, the love of Christ is the best refuge from and remedy for the violence and dissension that corrupts our society. He spoke of how, in a time when terrorism is becoming more prevalent and politics are polarized with anger, love is a necessity.
When Jesus gave the command to love one another in the Book of John, He is speaking to His disciples shortly before His crucifixion. Moore points out that the disciples were Jesus’s partners in the gospel, who allowed Jesus to lead them and grow them in their faith. The disciples complied with his teachings because they believed that He was the Messiah.
“There are two particular groups of disciples who follow Jesus through this earthly ministry:” Moore said, “those who followed Him because they made a true commitment to Him, and those who followed Him only because they wanted the good things that He had to offer.”
The commandment to love applies to those who consider themselves to be true disciples of Christ, according to Moore. When Jesus’s disciples developed a partnership with Him, by default, they developed a partnership with each other.
Moore pointed out the significance of the placement of this commandment in the Bible. Jesus gives this commandment in between the acts of betrayal committed by Peter and Judas.
Judas demonstrated the way in which we are to love one another in spite of our disagreements. The disciples frowned upon Mary’s act of pouring oils onto Jesus and washing His feet, because they could not understand. This misunderstanding and indignation moved Judas to do something that Moore described as “treacherous,” by betraying Jesus.
“If we’re truly going to be partners in the gospel in this day and era,” Moore said. “regardless of our disagreements, regardless of our political stances and denominational understandings, regardless of those things that tend to separate us, by the love of Jesus Christ, we must overcome our disagreements and love one another as partners in the gospel.”
Peter illustrates the way in which we must love each other in spite of our disappointments. Jesus tells Peter he will deny Jesus three times, and although Peter is adamant that he will not, he denies Jesus just as he is being crucified.
“There will be times when we will disappoint one another,” Moore said. “When we will not rise to the occasion. For you know how the story goes, truly, Peter did deny Christ. What a disappointment it was for Jesus for Peter to deny Him.”
Moore pointed out that even in spite of Peter’s denial, Christ never forsake Peter. He loves him although he disappointed Him beyond measure.
Moore also reminded partners in the gospel that they will falter just as Peter did, and will fail to live up to their responsibilities. However, when others fail us, we must keep in mind the love that Christ has lavished upon them and us.
“If Jesus can love them,” Moore said. “so can we.”
In addition to Moore’s chapel service, three other Holy Week services were presented in Ransdell Chapel. The first service of prayer and song was held Wednesday evening, with Campbellsville University partnering with Green River Ministries. On Holy Thursday, the reenactment of the Last Supper was held, where CU partnered with the Taylor County Food Pantry, who distributed food bags to those in need. On Good Friday, there was a celebration of the “Seven Last Sayings of Christ,” with CU partnering with the Taylor County Crisis Pregnancy Center.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.