John 13:34 “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”
At first glance it seems Jesus is telling his disciples to love each other within their little circle of believers. Certainly they would need each other as times went on and the persecution became rampant. It would only be the love of Christ that could pull them back together after his death. I believe this commandment is much deeper though. Christ loves everyone. When He commands us to love one another I believe He means every one. I start close to home. How does Christ call me to love my spouse and my children? I am to love them as He loves me. How am I to love my family of faith? He tells me to love them as He loves me. It is easy to love in Christ when you have a deep and happy bond with someone. When there are hurts and frustrations in the way it becomes harder. I know I cause Jesus hurt and frustration every time I sin. He forgives us in unending grace and that is part of His love for us. We need to forgive just as He does so that we may love as He loves. Only through Christ are we able to do this. It is His love shining in us that brings us the strength and ability to love others in grace as He does. Seek out one person to love as He loves; someone that will stretch your growth in Christ. If we each did that, how much more love would there be?
Clear our sight of pain and frustration so we can see others in your love. Give us the courage and strength through your word and Spirit to reach out as love as you love us. We know you command us to do this, help us follow your command. As we follow and believe, we are blessed, thank you. Amen.