How do others know us?
One of the first songs I learned to play on the guitar when I was in junior high was They’ll know we are Christians by our Love. The reason for this was because it has a simple chord progression and uses only three chords in the entire song. It was also one of the first songs I taught to campers when we had a music program that included learning to play the guitar. By the end of that summer I really didn’t care if I ever heard that song again!
This week we hear the end of the 13th chapter of John’s Gospel, which give us the new commandment, to love one another. These words are some of the last words of Jesus to his disciples as the Last Supper concludes and he moves to the garden of Gethsemane, before his arrest. Along with the command to love, come the additional words that all will know the followers of Jesus because they love one another.
I don’t know about you, but I wonder how many people in our world would have that understanding of the Christian Church. Sadly, the statistics out there say that many people, especially the generation that is missing from our churches – the millennials, say the Church does not practice what it preaches. And some members of our faith even say on placards and signs that God hates.
I believe we all have work to do both individually and communally, on showing and enacting this command of Jesus. And while we can’t change those of our faith who choose to show something other than love, we can find ways to raise our voices and profile so that others might see what Jesus would have us do. We can also work on those places in our own lives where we lack patience or tolerance or (indifference) – so that we might be known by how we love each other.
Sue von Rautenkranz