I was overjoyed to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father. But now, dear lady, I ask you, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning, let us love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment just as you have heard it from the beginning—you must walk in it.
I don’t know about you, but I would have loved to have met this lady who is obviously highly respected by John, and entrusted to deliver his words of life and hope to her and her household. It might be possible that she was an older, more maternal character who had responsibility for lots of children. Perhaps she was a widow, but her life had been influential through her Christian faith which had touched the lives of at least some of her wards. On the other hand perhaps she was the host, or even one of the leaders of one of the churches which met in her house, something which happened much during the early days of the Church. Whoever she was she had made her mark in such a way that John feels it is worth mentioning here. He feels however, the need to endorse the new commandment of love which Jesus gave to them, by not just knowing the words themselves, but in walking in them. This is very needful for us all and easy though it is to say, or listen to in a sermon, the proof of our commitment as well as the truth in which we are believing, has to be seen to be evidenced by action. This is not an attitude that can be suddenly exhibited but one needs to walk in love which is genuine, deep in ones’ spirit, working out not only on a Sunday when everyone else can see it, but day by day, even when life is not being loving towards us. As my Mother used to say to me, “It’s not enough to say you will do something, but you must live it, and be it.”
Loving Saviour, who taught us the way of love, touch our hearts in a new and transforming way, that we may not just speak the truth of such love, but walk in it, work from it and share it from our lives and hearts witnessing to the reality of that love every day of every year that you grant us life. Through the Name of Jesus, who is our example. Amen.
Verena Walder, Lay Preacher and Elder, Tabernacle URC, Mumbles.
St. Andrew's United Reformed Church - The United Reformed Church in Monkseaton and Whitley Bay
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