The last words of a man heading for certain death are always such tell-tale phrases. For Christ, He lays out a new command for His followers. Love one another. It hit me reading this that I have been taught that Jesus only left a couple of direct orders behind. He tells us to go and make disciples, baptizing them. He also tells us whenever we break bread, to remember Him. This is where the church universal gets the ordinances of baptism and communion. It’s why we carry them out faithfully as a church.
Yet here, He tells us that He gives us a new command. It seems the church is to have a third ordinance. Baptism, communion, and love for each other. I know, I know, we already try to love each other. But we practice the first two religiously (literally). Why not the third? Why doesn’t love for each other become an inviolable order among those of us who claim to follow Jesus. We set it as a goal. But communion and baptism aren’t a goal, they are expected. Maybe it’s time we up the ante on this love stuff.
Or maybe it’s just time that I did. Maybe if I will do it, model it, and teach it, it will change. Not because I’m a pastor, but because I’m a follower of the one who is Love. So, yeah, that means you too. Together, maybe we need to approach this Love Each Other rule with much, much more intentionality.
I could really see it catching on. Couldn’t you?