“Love one another. You must love one another, just as I have loved you. If you love one another, everyone will know you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35
I find this passage in John to be such a simple reminder of God’s task to us: Love one another. Every single day we see reminders of the hate in this world. We listen to the news and hear one individual or group turning a different individual or group of people into “the other.” Making a group of people “the other” insinuates they are less than equal, less than deserving of whatever we have in our lives. Is “the other” so different from each of us? People who have hopes and dreams, successes and failures, fill the category of “the other.” They are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers. They love, they fear, they laugh, they cry. If we look in the mirror, we will see that “the other” looks just like all of us, made in God’s image just as we are.
Resist allowing ourselves to create “the other.” God and his son Jesus Christ tasked each of us to love one another as he has loved us. If we truly believe we are modern day disciples of the word of God, we must lead with love, not hate. We must lead with courage, not fear. We must talk, not shout. We must embrace each other, in God’s love, and be the disciples he asks us to be.
Appointed readings for today: Exodus 12:1-14, Psalm 116:1,10-17, John 13:1-17,31-35