John 13:35”By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
A lot of religiously sensitive people, like myself, are concerned about the decrease in church attendance and membership these days. I’ve reached an age now that I can remember the “good old days” when churches were full most Sundays and overflowing on holidays. So I find it interesting that Jesus doesn’t seem as concerned with the size of his following as he is with the quality of their relationships, specifically that they love one another. The church in the days and years immediately after the first Easter consisted of relatively small groups that owned no buildings, often meeting in personal homes or out-of-the-way places. Remember the catacombs in Rome? It wasn’t their prosperity or popularity that made Christians attract others. It was the quality of their faith in this risen Jesus and their loving community. In a divisive world like ours, a group that truly loves one another would indeed stand out as having a connection with the divine. This week where will you see relationships that tell you “these folks are followers of Jesus?” Will any of your own relationships do this?