…love one another…

How can I know that someone is a follower of the one we call Christ?

If I read the newspapers or listen to the radio, there are a lot of people who say they are…but I find myself wondering. According to statements in the Bible that are attributed to Christ in the gospel of John (13:34-35), the most important way of knowing whether someone is a follower is this:

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

Sounds pretty simple and straightforward, doesn’t it?

But what am I to think when I hear people who say they follow Christ say that people who are LGBT should be executed by a bullet in the head? or when they try to pass laws that say it’s okay for hospitals and doctors to turn away people from treatment because they are LGBT? or schools refuse to teach students for the same reason? What about children who have to fight to be accepted as who they are…because inward and outward genders don’t match? Why do so many families throw children out when they don’t meet family expectations?

There is so much darkness in our world. Perhaps it’s because we really don’t understand what love is. I know…that sounds simplistic. But another wise man of my own time said this:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

Martin Luther King wasn’t a perfect human being; none of us are. But I think he understood–and challenged us to live–the commandment of the one that so many of us say we follow. What we’ve been doing isn’t working. Maybe…just maybe…we might find a new way of living if we tried this.

 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

 

 

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