We’ve been exploring Jesus’ new command: “Love one another: As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).
That statement is jam packed with meaning and possibility. Here’s something else which is easy to miss.
We are to love “one another.” He was speaking to his disciples. Our love is expansive, meaning it extends to our neighbours, communities and even enemies. But it is also internal. If we love “one another” we will all benefit as a community of faith, as a church.
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but the world around us is getting more and more hostile toward people of faith. Increasing winds outside the church should fan the flame of love inside the church.
Keith Miller describes the early Christians: “through Jesus, the disciples and early followers had discovered the secret of community. Someone would be walking down a back alley in Ephesus or Corinth and see things that didn’t make any sense at all: something about a man and an execution on a tree and visitations. But there was a quality about the way these people talked to each other, cried together, laughed together… so oddly compelling that strangers passing by would be drawn to them. It was as if the scent of love had drifted down the alley and could draw people like bees to a flower. And people started to say, ‘I don’t understand this yet, but I want in.’”*
Let’s be honest. We don’t always get it right. In fact, we often get it wrong. But it’s worth working on. In fact, Jesus tells us to do it. And we all get to benefit.
When you look around you at the other Christians in your life, you’ll notice that you don’t always agree with them about everything. You may or may not have the same interests. Some of them will have personalities that rub you the wrong way. And, to be sure, you’ll rub others the wrong way too.
But the thing we have in common is the most important thing—Jesus!
Increasing winds outside the church should fan the flame of love inside the church.
“Love one another: As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
–As quoted in: *M. Scott Peck, Further Along the Road Less Traveled: The Unending Journey Toward Spiritual Growth (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993), 150.
–The Up Devotional is published 5 days a week (Monday-Friday) and returns on December 12, 2022.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.