Love one another

A young soldier was returning home after a long time of service in a war. Before returning home he called his mother and said “Mum the war is over and I am returning home”.
The mother was too excited to receive him. “Mum” he said “but I have a little request. I am bringing along with me a colleague to stay with us for a year”.  “Sure” she replied. “But Mum, this friend of mine has lost his legs and his hands in the war”.

The mother immediately replied “Son that is going to be difficult for us and it will surely be a big burden to take care of him”. 

The young man put the phone down. The following day the police found a young man lying dead on the road with a note in his hand that read “Mum, I wanted to know how you would take it when I returned home without my legs and hands so I said it was actually my friend who had no legs and hands to how you would receive me”.

When it comes to taking care of our own, we leave no stone unturned. But when it is a stranger, we think twice. Jesus never made a distinction between people. Whether it was someone who was treated as an outcaste by society, or a despised tax collector, a prostitute or public sinner, he showed the same love and concern and taught people to do the same. Jesus experienced the unconditional love of his heavenly father and shared that love with others “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." (John 15:9-12)

When the Jewish Rabbi Hilel was mocked at by others and asked to stand on one foot and recite the whole Jewish law, he smiled, stood on one foot and said “Do to others what you wish them to you.  This is the whole law.”

When Jesus said love one another as you love yourself, he meant that we need to beginning loving ourselves and all the blessing God has bestowed us with and to pass that love onto others.

All our utterances, singing and rituals in worship will be in vain if we do not love one another.  Loving one another would mean giving each other the space to grow and to live joyfully, to forgive and forget the wrongs of others.

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