Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, April 17, 2015
Love One Another. Just Love.
There is an all-day preschool and kindergarten here at my place of employment. I love watching the children in their activities together. I take the opportunity to read to them once a week, and often interact with them as I walk through the halls. “Hello, Pastor Elizabeth!” they often cry. With shy smiles, and sometimes a hug around the knees. So loving, so spontaneous, so open with their emotions. Such a wonderful feeling!
The liturgical lectionary scripture reading came from 1 John 3 today. Somehow, I got the same sort of feeling from the aged apostle John as I read this passage. Verses 11 through 24. John was giving his friends some instructions, even some admonitions. At the beginning of the section, we are told to love one another. Why? Because of the One who laid down His life for us. That’s why. And following His example, we ought to be willing to lay down our lives for each other.
There is a good deal more in this section of scripture, but I focused particularly on these ideas. Funny thing, John doesn’t say “Love only those with straight, thick hair” or “Love only those who are nearsighted.” (Both of which I have.) John doesn’t say “Love only those who are gregarious extroverts” or “Love only those with mathematical talent” as several of my family members are. No exclusions. None. Period.
John says “For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” (1 John 3:11, NRSV) And again, in chapter 4 :7, we are told “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” And the kicker in 4:9—“God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His only Son into the world so that we might live through Him.”
The aged apostle’s admonition is simple. Not easy! Never easy. But, simple. Simply this: love one another. Love every person. Why? Because of the One who laid down His life for us.
I have been thinking more and more about this very thing. Who would Jesus ignore? Who would Jesus argue with? Even more, who would Jesus fight with? Who would Jesus hate?
If I truly consider myself a follower of Jesus, I need to ask myself those serious, penetrating questions. Am I willing to love everyone, no questions asked? Like Jesus? Am I willing to be open, and generous, and loving, like the preschoolers I see almost every day? Love one another.
Gracious God, help me to try to love each person I meet. Please, God. Help me to communicate Your love and care to everyone, without hesitancy, without prejudice, without special favor. So help me, God. Please. Amen.
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Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind. @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .