"And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it." 2 John 1:6 ESV
The ministry of Jesus was one of love. We see this in his teachings, the miracles he performed, and the example of his life. In Matthew 22:37-39, we find Jesus' response to a query from the Pharisees about which of the commandments is the greatest. His reply, love God with your whole heart and love your neighbor as yourself.
It is no surprise then that John is echoing this same message of love to the church. A command as relevant today as then. If you love God, follow his commandments, which is to love. That's all there is to it, simple, right? Well, it is in concept but much harder to execute faithfully and consistently. Most of the time, we try to love God, but without extending our love to others, we do not love God wholly. It is incomplete.
How then do we love each other? By displaying to everyone, we come into contact with the same love God shows us. Demonstrating to all empathy, compassion, and care for everyone, no exceptions. That includes the people most unlike ourselves. Those who are flawed human characters too quickly think of as "others,” "those,” "them,” and "they." When we extend the love of God freely given to us to all that we can truly come to love God.
Lord, we give you thanks for your love. You give it so freely to us, and all you ask in return is that we love you back, and we love each other. We admit we struggle to share this love with others, especially those unlike us, but when we fail to do that, we are failing to love you as we should. God, forgive us and help us to love. Create a pure spirit in us. Wash away all those things that hold us back from loving as we should. Take us and use us so that our love for you and our love for others is one. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.