Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Loving One Another

John 13:34-35

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

profileThis is Monday’s devotional but I am sending it to my congregation via e-mail on Friday so that they have time to think about it before Sunday.  Sunday we’re going to be preaching on David: A Man after God’s Own Heart.  We’re going to talk some about our worship and our witness and what might hinder these.

A committee (I know – that is a bad word for some) met last night (Thursday) and talked about ways of connecting our congregation – current attendees and visitors.  We talked about a number of ways to bring this about.  I know last Monday another committee (there’s that bad word again) met to talk about ways to share in fellowship together as a congregation.  On Tuesday morning in a Bible Study I attend we talked about ways to let folks know we’re glad they attended worship with us and to let those who have missed a few Sundays know that we miss them.  A clergy meeting I attended this week talked about this same subject – connecting the folks in the congregation and ministering to the body.

It is not by accident that so many places in my week talked about connecting the folks of the church together.  We can talk about having multiple services and how that makes it harder to feel like one congregation.  We can talk about the fellowship time between the services and how only a handful of people attend.  We can talk about follow-up calls – cards – and visits.  We can talk about pew or row captains in worship.  We can talk about greeting folks when they arrive and before the leave.  We can talk about needing to have our data files up to date so that useful information is available to us.  We can talk about a number of ways to connect folks together – and most if not of these will be good ideas.

What God is after is _________.  If you said  our heart give yourself a gold star.  Christianity boils down to _____________.  If you said attitude give yourself another gold star.  If we had a heart set on Christ – if we had the attitude of Christ – the programs wouldn’t matter.  If we had a heart to connect with one another – if we truly saw folks in our worship service – and those who haven’t been for a while and even those who have never darkened our doors as a part of us – as part of the Body of Christ – we would connect with or without a program.

Many of us simply arrive early or just in time for worship to begin or even a little late and we head to our assigned seat (no we don’t assign seats but people tend to sit in the same spot each week).  We might and I really do mean might know those who sits around us.  We might even nod a head or smile at them as we pass them or catch their eye.  But what would it look like church – if we went out of our way to connect with one another.

Today’s passage says – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35  Loving others like Christ loves us.

I love the efforts we are making to connect – program wise.  I love the welcome table in the Narthex/entry way.  I love the little bags of goodies we give to first time visitors.  I know the desire to connect with people is there for some – and some of our committees (there’s that word again) are trying to develop programs to help us connect.  But what if it was as easy as developing a heart and attitude of love?  What if we simply tried to love others – expressing the love that Christ has shown us?  Could it be that simple?

I would love to hear from first time visitors as I greet them – I really felt loved and appreciated today.  I would love to hear that from members and constituents alike.  I would love to be known in the community as the church that loves as Christ loves.  Wouldn’t that me amazing?

Try it this Sunday!  Try to go out of your way to greet others – genuinely.  Greet folks you don’t know – introduce yourself – extend a hand for a greeting and talk to them.  Show them genuine love and concern.  We might be amazed at what God could do with a church that greeted one another in brotherly and sisterly love – the love of Christ.  1 Peter 1:22-23 – 22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;

OK Church – let’s see who reads their e-mail and who will respond to the challenge of loving others as Christ loves us!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.


February 3, 2014 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I agree. My Pastor always reminds us to welcome others as Christ has welcomed you.


    Comment by Em | February 3, 2014 | Reply

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