“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.” – John 13:34-35
Saturday some of the men from our church came over to my parents’ house and put into practice what it means to be the body of Christ. Our two houses stand next door to one another and – until around a year and a half ago – I had done a fairly good job of staying on top of both properties.
Then I got behind. And once I was behind it was just about impossible to catch up.
This is where it’s great to have a crew of brothers (Wayne, Sy, Jim, Paul, David, Dan, George, Larry) to help pick up the slack, and to mend the fence, and to install a series of grab bars in the house to help my mum and dad keep upright, and to clean up the yard.
Then Larry and I worked on one more project. We re-cut the pathway the joins the two houses, we widened it to accommodate dad’s fancy wheeled walker, we put down a special fine gravel to keep the surface even, and we dug a new drainage ditch to stop water from pooling on the path.
The reason I’m writing about this is that life lived in the faith community makes things possible that are essentially unimaginable outside of the kind of relationships I am blessed with at church.
This is what Jesus was talking about when he said that the world will know that we are Christians when they take notice of how beautifully and how completely we love one another. It’s love that’s supposed to be the neon sign that tells the truth about who it is that we follow.
It’s a simple equation. But love is such a powerful witness.
Jesus didn’t say it would be our rules that do it… or our doctrine… or our judgementalism… or our fancy building… or the fact that we’re right about everything. No, Jesus said that the world will pay attention to how eloquently we love.
Thanks, church. And, from where I’m standing, it looks like you’re doing a great job with that – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.