Scripture: 2 John 1-13
Key verse: (5) “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: When I was in college, there was a really popular professor who taught religion courses, Dr. Na. He could do anything, he knew seven languages, rode a motorcycle, played violin, could take apart his computer and then put it back together, he was impressive. In his classes students often tried to impress our professor with lofty complex answers to his questions. I remember one day when Dr. Na asked a question, all of us students gave our best shot at long convoluted answers with complex theological arguments. To this day I don’t remember what the question was, but I just remember that we were all wrong. Dr. Na finally said, “The answer is ‘Jesus loves you’, so you must love one another.” That was it, the answer was that simple, something we had been taught a long, long time ago but often didn’t live by.
In our passage for today the author is writing to a church that he identifies as “the elect lady”. John is reminding the congregation of something they already knew, that they are to love one another because Jesus loves them. They may have known Jesus’ love, but they weren’t living by it. Jesus’ love for us and our call to love others is not new information, but it gets lost as we often engage in heated debate, personal arguments, and issues we hold closely to heart. It is good to faithfully move into complex issues, but may we never lose sight of love. May we never lose sight of Jesus’ love for us and our call to love one another. Take time over this Christmas season to sit in Jesus’ love for you, examine where you may have moved away from that simple yet profound message for the sake of complex arguments, or the desire to be right. May you hold fast to Jesus’ love for you and share that love with one another.
Prayer: Holy God, we give you thanks for your love for us. Soften our hearts that we may receive your love and embolden us that we may share that love with others. Amen.
Author: John Magnuson
[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].