Gotta Love Them

John 13:34-3634 “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

brothers_loveNotice that Jesus did not say this is a suggestion. He said it is a commandment. That means it is not optional. Besides, this is the way we prove to the world that we are Jesus’ disciples.

I was at church this last week and idly looking around at my fellow church goers, when these scriptures came to mind. I am supposed to love these people deeply with all my heart! Do I? No. Why? I have not gotten to know them yet.

In the church we can literally be surrounded by strangers in the pews or chairs around us. No warmth. We are shy. We see them but we feel embarrassed to go up to someone to welcome them or ask what their name is. But how will we ever start to love someone we don’t know?

How do we break out of our “shy shell”? Every great journey starts with one step in the right direction. Step one is introduce your self and ask the person something about themselves.

One day I noticed an elderly lady at a church meeting sitting by her self. I felt the Lord’s leading to speak to her. I went up and introduced myself. We started talking. I found out she lived in her daughter’s house in the remodeled garage, but was not allowed to enter her daughter’s house without an invitation. She had been a farmer’s wife and had eleven children. She had gotten saved when she was seventy five and was now in her early eighties. She had spent the early years of her Christian life traveling from one child’s house to another evangelizing her many grandchildren. She was now unable to travel and was lonely. We adopted each other. I had her over to my house, took her to events and generally enjoyed the kind and warm person that she was. Look what I would have missed if I hadn’t gone up to her that day.

There are a lot of lonely people in our churches. Let’s take that one step in the right direction. Let’s get to know them. Let’s love them.

Jesus is Lord!