"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Following on the heels of Judas fleeing to betray Jesus, Jesus speaks these words, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Is it a coincidence that Jesus picks this particular time to speak these words? Could he possibly be asking the disciples to continue to love Judas, who would soon turn over Jesus?
There are many things that Satan uses to divide the church today. He looks for any nook and cranny to insert a wedge—exerting just the right amount of pressure to create a rift. Crafty Devil! The bond that holds the church -- the universal church -- together is love—loving each other as God loves us.
The universal church is one witness. The image the world has of Christ is what we as his body projects. The things that we say about each other, our actions towards each other reflect positively or negatively, not just on the church but on the world’s perception of God. The way we glorify God is through our loving and caring for each other -- even when we feel a Judas in our midst. When Satan tries to insert his crowbar of division, we need to love each other all the more. We need to fill that nook and cranny with the cement of God's love.
Precious and loving God, we give you thanks for your grace. We confess as your church are often all too human. Instead of loving each other, we allow Satan to create division. Forgive us those times; please help us as we love each other more perfectly. Not just our individual churches but as your church universal; all those who call themselves Christian. May the witness we show the world only glorify you. In the name of your Son, Jesus, we pray. Amen.