17 This is my command: Love each other.
18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
It is generally agreed upon by scholars that this passage from Jesus came during the end of the Last Supper. Jesus knowing he was coming upon his last moments with the disciples wanted to leave them with some final words of encouragement to press on and love one another. He knew that for him and the disciples the hardest part of the road was next and he wanted to ensure they remembered what he consistently preached and showed them.
As I look back upon this last year and a half with all that has transpired, none of us knew that the pandemic would have lasted this long. We all thought we’d be meeting in mass assembly by now and yet here we are still unable to. Many of us have been unable to go back home to see family and many of us having had to say tough goodbyes to dear friends. So as I look at this passage I am encouraged because I believe we (the church of Shanghai, SCF) have loved each other in this difficult time. It’s been encouraging to see community groups that made it an effort to gather even more for fellowship and the breaking of bread. It’s been equally encouraging to see new leaders and key people emerge amongst the remains of the congregation. It has been great to see old friends return and help reestablish some of the core values of our community and it has been amazing to see the effort of the community and leaders as a whole fight to keep this flame alive; all because we love Him and each other. We have God and we have each other, that is more than enough to keep this thing going.
Thoughts for the day
- What does this passage tell you about God or Jesus?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- How can you apply this message in your current situation
Invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you. Try asking, “What would it look like for Your kingdom to come to my building” and listen to what God might be saying.