By Colin Scott (Youth Coordinator at the Mechanicsburg Church of the Brethren (Pa.))
John 15:12-17 “Love each other.”
Recently, we have all been challenged by what it means to “do church” or “be the church” when we cannot physically gather together as the Body of Christ. It takes greater effort and more energy to maintain meaningful relationships with, and to care for, those we are used to seeing regularly. And yet, Jesus’ command that we “Love each other” as He named us “friends” and prepared to sacrifice Himself for us is as relevant now as ever! I imagine that each of us can think of someone in need of an encouraging word, a listening ear, or a prayerful thought. How we choose to creatively live out Jesus’ example of sacrificial, selfless love in times of uncertainty and adversity has AWESOME potential to bear fruit – fruit that lasts. This is an unexpected chance to form new, lasting relationships. Let’s decide to thoughtfully continue building loving community by reaching out selflessly as a friend to those who may need support, hope, and reassurance. The possibilities for connections we make today are endless as we obey Christ’s direction to “Love each other.”
Good News: Jesus has chosen each of us as His friend and sacrificed Himself for us. Jesus tells us to choose to love each other selflessly.
Discussion question: What obstacles might we have to overcome to love each other as Christ commands? How might sharing Jesus’ sacrificial love look for us, practically, today?
Go one step further: Find your church directory, identify a member (or family) in the congregation who could use a friendly or thoughtful note, and mail them an encouraging greeting. Challenge yourself by choosing someone new, and maybe someone who you do not know well, each week and see what “fruit” is produced through these new relationships.