“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 NIV
Now, more than ever, our world, our country, our people, need love. The love that Jesus commands us to have for others. The love that Jesus didn’t just tell us about, but the love that He lived.
In Biblical times women were second class citizens, at best. Men didn’t talk to women in public. But Jesus chose not to see a man or a woman, He chose to see a “person” uniquely created by God. Samaritans were a people “looked down upon” as inferior to the Jewish people. They did not associate with each other.
So, it is no wonder that one of my favorite stories about the love of Jesus is the Samaritan woman at the well. It is in the fourth chapter of the gospel of John if you want to re-read it. But it is basically Jesus living out His love for people. He talked to a woman, a Samaritan woman! She was shocked. But because He loved her and chose to speak to her about living water and salvation. She believed and brought nearly her whole town to hear Jesus’ words. The power of love. God and Jesus are love, and their love can shine through us to others.
When I began my teaching career in a BEH (Behaviorally/Emotionally Handicapped) classroom I came to understand the power of this “love” concept well. Every child in my classroom had been identified as a severe behavior problem at their home school and was on long-term suspension until the class was ready to start. You can imagine the group of kids being thrown together. But I knew that Jesus loved each one of them, and I was determined to love them, too. I chose to find something about each one to love, to encourage and to develop. Love was the basis for success.
Would the choice to show love have saved a man’s life? Would the choice to love have prevented looters from destroying someone’s hard-built business? Would the choice to love have prevented people from being “dispersed” and hurt and bullied? Would the choice to love have given every person the rights to which they are entitled? Would the choice to love replace hate and hurt?
We, all of us, have to choose to love. We have to chose to heal through loving others. We have to choose to love others as Jesus loved. We have to choose to have unoffendable hearts that empathize and love. We have to choose to love, to be the change we want to see. We have to choose the power of love!
This week, as you interact with others, choose to live love just as Jesus lived love. Choose to make a difference in your family, your neighborhood, your community. Choose love, choose to live love!
I thank God for each of you! And I thank you for joining me this week to choose love to heal our world, our country, and all our people.
Blessings and Love!