Love: The Didaché

​The Didaché is the oldest surviving catechism, likely written between 90-110 a.d. The centrality of love is seen at the beginning, where the “two ways”—life and death—are described.  Concerning life, it says,  ”Now the path of life is this — first, thou shalt love the God who made thee, and thy neighbour as thyself” (1:2).

The way of love is equated with life, and it is a path, which means it is a journey of love that we make over the course of our lifetime.  It is a life which manifests the two great commandments.  Coming at the beginning of the Didaché, love is the context for everything else.  And as a catrchetical document, the Didaché shows that baptism was a declaration by  new Christians that they would live the life of love as they walked the path of life.

The simplicity of the Didaché’s message of love must not be underestimated.  It is the early Church’s witness to the continuation of what we saw in last week’s post about the New Testament, i.e. that love is the pervasive element in the Christian life.  Love is the defining and directing quality of all our attitudes and actions.  Our baptism marks us as lovers.  What we say and do after we’re baptized shows whether we live as those who remember their baptism or as those who forget it.   

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
This entry was posted in Love. Bookmark the permalink.