This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Jesus said ‘Love one another.’ He put a bunch of people from various backgrounds into a team and he told them to love one another. Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous? Welcome to the church!
In John’s Gospel (Jn 15: 9-17) Jesus says that if we obey his command to love one another it will make him very happy. Well, actually he says so that his joy may be in us and that our joy will be complete, but I’m sure he is pleased when he sees his command being lived out.
Jesus also tells the disciples to remain in his love. Seems to me that our loving one another can only be lived out if we remain in his love. A consequence of our loving one another is that by doing so we will be bearing fruit. I take that to mean that others will be drawn to Christ by our obedience to his command to love. Therein lies the challenge.
Our motto at Mudgeeraba Uniting is that we ‘seek to be a loving Christ-centred community.’ I’m glad it says ‘seeks to be’ because it surely is a work in progress (and always will be!). BUT, what if we could truly follow the command of Jesus and make his joy complete in us? What if we really and truly did love each other? What might that look like in practice? What might it say to the community? What steps can we put in place to magnify our love for each other? What practices would need to cease?
Leo Newell (May 2018)