I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.”
As Jesus was preparing to leave this earth, dying on the cross for our sins, one of his last commandments reminds us of the importance of loving one another. Later, in the 14th chapter of John, He confirms that we will never be orphans because God will send the Holy Spirit to be our forever Companion. But because Jesus lived here on earth, experiencing heartache, fear, joy, pain, wonder, and uncertainty himself, he knew we would also need each other.
One of the many ways God has shown up for me has been through the kindness of others. In good times and bad, time and time again, God has revealed God’s self through the love and kindness of friends. Recently, as I experienced a season of pain and uncertainty, God showed up for me in the friend that brought me dinner and listened to me talk for hours, in my sister’s daily phone calls, in the understanding of colleagues, and in every text message that said: “I’m praying for you.” My faith was affirmed, and I felt surrounded by the love of Christ through the words and actions of my community.
God knew as he prepared to die on the cross that I would need that. God knew that all of us would need that. This is both a comfort and a calling. God will show up for us. Through the love and kindness of others, God reminds us that we are not alone. We will never be orphans. And at the same time, God asks us to share God’s love by showing up for others. We are called as disciples to make phone calls, send texts, and hug necks. We are called to love each other.
Thank you for showing up for us. And thank you for reminding us to love each other. We pray that you open our hearts, allowing us to fully receive the love that others have to give, and we pray that you will show us specific, tangible ways we can share your love with others. May everyone know we are your disciples because of how well we love each other. Amen.