Love One Another?

A reading for Thursday, April 9, 2015: John 15:12-27.

"Love one another!" It seems simple enough...

Yet it is so much more complicated than at first we might consider. What is it that the Lord has commanded us? When is it that the Lord has chosen us to be friends? What fruit are we asked to bear? To "lay down our lives for one's friend" seems like more than we are prepared to do.

Truth is we cannot love one another or do any of this on our own. If we are capable of any good, it is because of Christ dwelling in our lives, in our hearts, and in our actions. Listening for the Spirit of God in our lives is perhaps the only way we can love one another. The capacity is just not in us otherwise.

But we forget to seek God and to listen for the Spirit. Our lives are full of busyness and commitments. We are like the valley of the dry bones that Ezekiel prophesied about. Can these bones live? Then we remember that Jesus has asked us to love one another. How can we love one another as the friend Jesus has called us to be? It seems impossible.

Jesus said, "When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning." The Spirit already dwells in our soul, waiting for us to listen and to do as Jesus has commanded. It dwells there because God has sent the Spirit to us. We are able to love one another through that Spirit that longs to be awakened in us. We are able to love one another because God first loved us.

"Love one another?" It seems simple enough... Yet it is the greatest calling of our lives, and one that only can bear fruit if we ask God to awaken the Spirit that is within each of us.


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