Because we are rooted in the love of God revealed to us at the cross, we reflect this in loving one another with the same kind of sacrificial love. ‘This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.’ Although the tree represents a kingdom community that is bigger than just the church family, if we are going to help create the culture of transforming love that impacts and includes that community then the church family must commit itself to learning to love one another well. ‘By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’ We can’t just do this through fine-sounding words and sentiments. Building quality relationships is hard work. So we see a church where we are committed to doing the hard work of understanding ourselves, valuing and taking time to listen to and understand each other, and learning the skills of loving well. The quality of church family this produces and the impact it will have on the wider community will amaze us! Are we up for it?
Lord, thank you for showing us what love is. Thank you for your sacrificial love. Help us to learn and be committed to loving one another with the same kind of love with which you loved us. And help us to see a vision of the difference this will make! Amen