loving one another

Paul, in telling the Colossian believers how they are to live out the resurrection life in Jesus seems to cap it off (not quite at the end) with this directive:

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

What if we made it the number one priority of our lives both to love God and love each other? Of course we’re reminded of the first and greatest commandment along with the second like it. This is not an easy calling, and love may be quite different from both our culture and our own understanding. In some respects in regard to culture, it most certainly is.

But to love another in the way Paul describes is about loving them in the way of Christ. It is sacrificial at its heart. Love is essentially expressed in sacrificial giving. Of course we need to be on the receiving end of that love, as well. But the point here is that we are commanded, I prefer to see it as a loving directive, but directive in a strong sense, in the sense that: This is the way of Jesus. Walk in it! Or else you will have sadly lost your way.

Peter echoes Paul’s words in a section which is similar in both content and tone:

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

This is our calling in Christ. Without this love, whatever we do amounts to nothing. Love, love, love to the end. A word I need to hear, especially when such loving is tough. Of course it is beyond us in our natural, sinful selves. But it is part and parcel of the new life we have and are called to live out in Christ. Together in him in this for the world.