Loving God. Loving our neighbor.

A New Command For Our Old Broken World

Scotty Smith

“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.” John 13:34-35

Lord Jesus, the evil events over the weekend in Charlottesville, VA, break our hearts and fuel our disgust; intensify our longings for your return, and amplify our calling to peace-making.

How long, Oh, Lord? How long before the Day when all racism, prejudice and tribalism will be eradicated–replaced with love, honor and the richest community imaginable? We crave the Day of consummate reconciliation–the Day when supremacy will only be attributed to you.

United Nations won’t be a building, but a reality. There won’t be any insiders or outsiders; no “pecking order” or ordering one another around; no more nuclear war threats, or cars being used as agents of homicide. The only position that will be jockeyed for will be falling down on our faces to adore you, and then staying low to wash one another’s feet. How long, Oh, Lord?

Finally, and fully, we’ll love each other the way you love us, Jesus. Honoring one another above ourselves will be our delight, not our discipline. Diversity won’t be tolerated, but celebrated. All of our relationships will be whole, beautiful, and joyful–the overflow of living in joyful, intimate relationship with you, our Father, and God the Holy Spirit. Soon, Lord, please soon.

We’ll never fail or hurt one another again. We’ll never have to apologize, forgive and reconcile about anything. Jesus, finally, your church–your beloved Bride, will love the way you love us. No more spats or splits; no more worship wars or wagging tongues; no more denominational petulance or theological arrogance; no more church shopping or church hopping; no more bickering, backbiting or bitterness. Yes, yes, yes!

Until then, Jesus, bring the power of the gospel to bear in extraordinary ways in our relationships, churches, and communities. Grant us greater grief and repentance over the ways we love poorly. Stun us, humble us, and gladden us… again and again and again… with glory and grace. There is no other way we’ll change. So very Amen, we pray, with conviction and hope, in your grace-full name.