Scripture: 2 John 1-13
Key verse: (5) But now, dear lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning, let us love one another.
Reflection: Love one another. It’s one of the two central commands of our faith (love God and love neighbor). It sounds so simple but we know it quickly becomes complex.
This short letter is written to a “dear lady,” likely a church that is referred to with a feminine noun. The author reminds the dear lady (aka the members of the church) of a commandment that they’ve had since the beginning, the command to love one another. This isn’t a new-fangled idea or a trendy fad. This isn’t something the writer thought of on his own. Love one another.
Now, we know that Jesus calls us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus calls us to love our enemies. But I’m intrigued that, in this context, the writer is calling the members of the church to love one another. Sometimes that’s harder to do than loving our neighbors and our enemies!
We know the old saying “familiarity breeds contempt” and sometimes that’s true. The people we know the best, the people we are with the most – those are the people who drive us crazy sometimes. The church community can be like that. We can find ourselves annoyed with one another, we see each other’s flaws and we know each other’s mistakes, we become aware of the minor differences in opinion or perspective.
Let us love one another. Love the people in your congregation. What if you do something bold like sit with the person who annoys you? Or invite someone to lunch even though you know their mistakes? Or pray for the family that seems to be different from you? This Sunday, dear lady, you have an opportunity to love one another.
Prayer: O God, fill me with your love overflowing so that I am able to love the people around me. Give me loving eyes to see my brothers and sisters in faith. Guide me to love the members of my church family, my church’s leaders and teachers. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].