I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
I’m not much of a sports fan. Oh, I watch the Super Bowl and the World Series and occasionally I tune into the Master’s. I am amazed by March Madness and pull for the Blues if they are in the Stanley Cup playoffs. But when it comes to getting into the nitty-gritty of the sports world, well, not so much. Even so, I do know one or two things that can make a team strong. While each team will have a wide variety of talents and skill levels, while every team will have players from different races and social stations, while every team will have all kinds of personalities, there is one thing they must have in common. They must have a love, a passion, for the game.
I mean it just works. Take my family, your family, for example. In a world where fewer and fewer marriages stay intact, where relationships are fractured, where time is easy to schedule but difficult to find…someone, or several someone’s must have a passion for the family, not just for it to survive, but for it to thrive. Passion and love will somehow carve time out of a busy day for one another. Passion and love will find a way to put others at the front of the line. Passion and love will share the burden of life and make it easier to bear.
Take your place at work, for example. For many, work is just work. However, the bottom line is work gives you the opportunity to spend several, or more than several, hours with a group of people, day after day. While it is great to be passionate about the job you do, doesn’t it also make sense to be passionate about the people you do it with? I spoke at the funeral service of a person recently and one of the things that was said of her was that her co-workers were like a second family to her. What about you? How would that impact your desire to get up and go to work each day?
Take your church, for example. If there is a place where we should be up to our eyeballs in relationships, it is where we worship. One of the most powerful forces in culture is when a group of Jesus followers gather to worship and do life together. One thing is certain—Jesus was and is a game changer. In fact, the way we do time is centered on His birth. And, when, His followers get it right, they become an impactful force for good in our communities, towns, and even the world.
Whether in the church or not—we have to find common ground. We somehow have to determine that in our small part of the world, what draws us together will be stronger than what would pull us apart. That is what got this great experiment called America going in the first place. It wasn’t that everyone agreed, but that they found common ground and they let that common ground be the glue that pulled the country together.
Each one of us needs to find that one thing that will help us pull it all together—whether that be family, business, church, or community. I know for me that cohesion is all about being a Jesus follower. His ability to change lives and His teachings lived out in the lives of people are just game changers. One of the things I love about people is the great diversity. God made each one of us different and unique. We are all over the map—no pun intended. But that diversity may well be a strength and not a weakness. It only becomes a weakness if we allow it to pull us apart and not together.
We need each other and there is power and beauty in God’s creation. When we work together, we become a force to be reckoned with—and the enemy knows it. So, as we emerge from the crazy time of COVID and division, let’s remember what is good about our communities, our towns, our country—and even this sometimes, upside-down world. Let’s remember the power of love and kindness. If you are a Jesus follower, let’s remember He said they will know us by our love…not our judgement. And even if you aren’t a Jesus follower—well, that’s just good stuff. We are stronger and better together and with a little help from the One who created all this—we can do it. After all, He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne