So I said yesterday I think there are foundations for mission, starting with prayer. Another one is Love. To love one another. I highlighted in my intro to these posts the scripture from John 13: 34-35:
“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.”
Jesus says this to his disciples having washed their feet and predicted the betrayal that would take place. He knew his time was near. What last things did he want to leave with them before his death? I can’t even begin to imagine what emotions were going through his mind, but this was one of those final things he told them. To love one another. A command no less. And not just to love, but love as he loved them. That’s a tall order isn’t it?! But one that I think it is vital for us to focus on, in all things not just in mission.
As we go ‘out there’ and step outside the church walls, this is the verse that often sticks in my mind, to just love people. Regardless of race, religion, location, age, sex or anything else, we just need to love people. That is the greatest witness to our faith, to demonstrate the love that God first showed to us….
What does love look like? it looks like many things. Perhaps sitting and chatting with a distressed woman, or helping an older man with his grief and pain, or coming alongside a woman dealing with unexpected trauma, or a young woman coming to terms with something she never thought she’d have to face, or another one – supporting an older man trying to do his best but being shouted down by the uncaring. All of these I have experienced in the last 6 months, and all in a place where we are just trying to build community, not planting a church or running Alpha, we are just meeting people where they are at and loving them.
As I have loved you, so you must love one another…