To love another person is to see the face of God. –Victor Hugo in "Les Miserables"
Our kindergarten teachers hung banners on the walls that stated, "Be Kind to Your Neighbors." I can still hear my mother as she stepped in between my brother and me in the midst of a heated "discussion," saying, "Boys, do unto others as you would have them do to you." And all over Christianity we hear the phrase "love one another" – it's one of those umbrella statements that is supposed to cover everything – and it does.
When asked by the Pharisees what the most important commandment was, Jesus' answer was: "Love one another." But then Jesus added something more:
"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
The love Jesus describes to His disciples is not just any kind of love. It's completely different than any other kind of compassion a person can muster. The love that Jesus tells us to share with others is a radically new kind of love.
- It's a commencement, a fresh start – a "new command." This love is more than just an emotion. It's not something you "fall into," full of heart hiccups and butterflies in the belly. It's a choice, an act of will, a verb.
- It's a commandment, not an option. And we are to carry it out just the way Jesus serves up His love for us: A constant supply of selfless giving.
- Lastly, it is to be a confirmation for others that when they see our acts, others will know that we are His disciples.
Loving Savior, I want to care for others with this unique love. This week, guide me as I open my heart to learn more about having a "Jesus kind of love." Amen.
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