LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. —John 13:34-35
Harley Davidson riders are known by their leathers. Surfers are known for their board shorts. Gangs identify by their colors. You can spot a Las Vegas Raiders fan by the black and silver skulls. A cheese hat? You’re loyal to the Green Bay Packers. You knew Groucho Marx by his glasses and bushy mustache. Abraham Lincoln’s top hat was a dead giveaway. Early punk-rockers were recognizable by their three-foot mohawks. Flannel was the ‘90s mark of grunge rockers. Handlebar mustaches now reveal a hip- ster. Braided beards and ruthlessness? Pirates. Reggae and dreadlocks often reveal a Jamaican, mon. Brazilians are known for their expressive warmth.
What are Christians known for? Jesus said it should be our love for other people. Early on, the church shone with Christlike love as believers shared all they had to care for each other’s needs. When pandemics hit Roman cities, Christ followers chose to tend to the sick even while the persecuting Romans fled. But there have been clear collective blunders, like invading countries and killing innocent women and children during the Crusades.
So how are we doing now? Are our churches known for who we’re trying to keep out or who we are welcoming in? Are we known by our service or our self-preservation? Our willingness to listen or our quickness to shout down? Our devotion to our political party or our devotion to Jesus? Does our encouragement or criticism come through louder? Are we marked by anger or grace? Outrage or compassion? Are we recognized by our expressions of Christ’s love or our indignation about what others call the hol- iday? Are we too busy to show love and kindness in our daily interactions? Let’s let everyone know we are Jesus’s disciples this Christmas by our love for others.
What do others know you for? What can you do to put Jesus’s love into action?