February 14 I Sunday
“A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” —John 13:34
There was a pastor who was prepared to preach on the text, “Love one another.” The outline of his message was to explain the different Greek words for love and encourage the congregation to love one another. As the music team was singing during the first part of the worship service, the pastor felt he should not preach this message. After the worship leader finished the last song of the set, the pastor went to the platform. The pastor said, “Brothers and sisters, my text this morning is love one another.” Then he went back to his seat. The congregation was silent, unsure what was happening. He got up a second time, went to the pulpit and said, “Brothers and sisters, my text this morning is love one another.” After, he went and sat down. Then, for a third time, the pastor walked up and said, “Brothers and sisters, my text this morning is love one another.” Again, he went back to his seat. While sitting in the congregation, somebody turned to the person next to them and said, “Is there any way I can love you?” Somebody else began to talk and before long, the whole church was alive with people talking to one another.
That Sunday morning, the church had 28 unemployed people, and each one of them went home with a job. There were some single parents and people living in absolute poverty present and each of their needs were met. The pastor commented that he could have preached his message on love and have people leave his church commenting, “Thank you, Pastor, that was a good message. I enjoyed distinguishing between those Greek words.” But there would still be 28 unemployed people who would have gone home unemployed.
The next Sunday, the pastor went to the pulpit when it was time for the message and said, “Brothers and sisters, my text this morning is the same as last week: love one another.” As he went to sit down, people stood up this time and said, “Whom can I help today?” For three months, the pastor was guided by the Spirit to give the same message: love one another. In a very short time, the church was transformed and grew to over 1,000 attendees.
Have we come to grips with the message the pastor brought before his church? We may read this true story and marvel at the work of God. Yet, an event like this should not be uncommon, it should be what defines the Church. How are we tangibly reaching the lost and needy? With whom in our lives can we share the love Christ has showered on us?
Prayer: Dear Jesus, open my heart to be obedient to Your command to love one another. Show me whom I can help today. Thank You, Lord.