This exhortation was given at King’s Cross Church (Moscow, ID) on November 6, AD 2022.
One mark of God’s saving work in our lives is our love for His people, our care for one another in this church.
We see this teaching in John 13, where Jesus says that all people will know that we are His disciples if we have love for one another (13:35). The Apostle John then picks up this focus on love again in his own letters, writing that “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers” (1 Jn. 3:14).
There is a tradition regarding John which says that when he was extremely old in age and living in Ephesus, the men in the church had to carry him into the gatherings. At this point he could barely speak, but each gathering he managed to say these words — “Little children, love one another.” The repetition of this simple command eventually annoyed some in the church, and so they asked him, “Teacher, why do you always say this?” And he replied with a line worthy of John: “Because it is the Lord’s commandment and if it alone is kept, it is sufficient.”
Love alone is sufficient.
Imagine that. Worshiping God with the Apostle John. Jesus’ beloved disciple, the man who witnessed the transfiguration, who stayed at the foot of the cross, who our Lord entrusted the care of His mother to, and who wrote the most unique Gospel account. And what does he spend his few feeble words on? Love. Love one another.
So let us hear and obey this word today. And as we seek to earnestly love one another in the Lord, it’s important to remember what love actually is.
Love is never abstract. It is concrete. It can be touched and felt. Love is expressed in verbs. And love is a choice, not just some feeling that may or may not come. We must choose to love.
And what does this love look like then? It consists of prayer, encouragement, and humble admonishment. It looks like warm greetings, meals dropped off, play dates, lending a hand, and extending hospitality. It looks like many things, each according to their gifts.
So little children, love one another. For that alone is indeed sufficient.