From the Beginning
Today’s scripture selection: Second John
Key verses: Second John 4-6
The New Testament letter of Second John helps me get back to basics.
When so many different philosophical; political; religious; social ideas compete for our attention and allegiance – John keeps things simple. Writing to his “dear children” in the faith he says:
“I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands.”
This is a very powerful teaching when you dissect it.
It calls for love – no question about it. And in that, it’s like a lot of other philosophies and religious ideas that call for human kindness, one to another.
But it also defines love in a very special way – a daily walk, in obedience, to his commands.
Whose commands? Jesus.
Almost since old John first penned that instruction – Christians and non-Christians alike have been at odds over what being “in obedience” to Christ’s commands means.
But for John, clearly that has to do with loving in the deepest and most profound of ways.
To love is to act as Christ would have us act. And Christians today differ quite a bit on what that means.
Still, I still believe in the possibility that if Christ’s love remains our beacon and example, we can find more common ground with one another than we often care to admit.
Will we have doctrinal differences between the various parts of the family that openly calls itself “Christian”? Yes.
Do those differences need to splinter us ever further and further apart? I hope not.
So – when things seem complicated – get back to basics; go back to the beginning. Go where John did.
Go to Christ – and His loving embrace.
Prayer: Lord, help me to always remember your deeply powerful; deeply sacrificial love – may it always be my guide. AMEN.