One Another, For the Other

Much is said about what the Church should look like and how she should be formed. Though we need to look to none other than Jesus, we yearn for words to adequately describe what we see in Him. Books, blogs (such as this), sermons, conferences–all noble and needed efforts to articulate a kingdom-shaped community of disciples living on mission. Yet in the following simple yet often disorienting statements written by the apostles we see how they sought to describe the kind of new community–church–that King Jesus lived, died and has risen to empower. Perhaps these texts can serve as a summation of all books, writings, and conversations.

“Be at peace with each other” (Mark 9:50).
 “Wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14).
 “Love one another” (John 13:34). 
”Love one another” (John 13:35).
 “Love each other” (John 15:12).
 “Love each other” (John 15:17). 
”Be devoted to one another in brotherly love” (Romans 12:10). 
”Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10). 
”Live in harmony with one another” (Romans 12:16).

“Love one another” (Romans 13:8).
 “Stop passing judgment on one another” (Romans 14:13).
 “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you” (Romans 15:7).
 “Instruct one another” (Romans 15:14). 
”Greet one another with a holy kiss” (Romans 16:16).
 “When you come together to eat, wait for each other” (1 Corinthians 11:33).
 “Have equal concern for each other” (1 Corinthians 12:25).
 “Greet one another with a holy kiss” (1 Corinthians 16:20).
  “Greet one another with a holy kiss” (2 Corinthians 13:12).
 “Serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13).

“If you keep on biting and devouring each other you will be destroyed by each other” (Galatians 5:15). “Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other” (Galatians 5:26).

“Carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).
 “Be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2). 
”Be kind and compassionate to one another” (Ephesians 4:32).
 “Forgiving each other” (Ephesians 4:32).
 “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5:19).
 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).
 “In humility consider others better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).
 “Do not lie to each other” (Colossians 3:9). 
”Bear with each other” (Colossians 3:13). “Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another” (Colossians 3:13).  “Teach [one another]” (Colossians 3:16). 
”Admonish one another” (Colossians 3:16).
 “Make your love increase and overflow for each other” (1 Thessalonians 3:12).

“Love each other” (1 Thessalonians 4:9). 
”Encourage each other” (1 Thessalonians 4:18) .
”Encourage one another” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).  “Build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
 “Encourage one another daily” (Hebrews 3:13).
 “Spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).
 “Encourage one another” (Hebrews10:25).
 “Do not slander one another” (James 4:11).
 “Don’t grumble against each other” (James 5:9). 
”Confess your sins to each other” (James 5:16).
 “Pray for each other” (James 5:16).

“Love one another deeply, from the heart” (1 Peter 1:22).
 “Live in harmony with one another” (1 Peter 3:8).
”Love each other deeply” (1 Peter 4:8). 
”Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:9). “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others” (1 Peter 4:10). “Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another (1 Peter 5:5).
”Greet one another with a kiss of love” (1 Peter 5:14).

“Love one another” (1 John 3:11).
”Love one another” (1 John 3:23). 
”Love one another” (1 John 4:7).
 “Love one another” (1 John 4:11).
 “Love one another” (1 John 4:12).
 “Love one another” (2 John 5).

???????????Imagine a community living into these words. Imagine how a community of self-giving love, gracious hospitality, forgiveness, reconciliation, humble confession, honesty, encouragement and hope could re-orient any social order? Imagine what would happen to our neighborhoods and relational networks if the Church became a community by which and through which we were formed and equipped to love one another so we could live our lives as a sent people for the other? 

May God’s missionary Holy Spirit teach and empower us to embody these words so we might make His in-breaking kingdom tangible to all.

About Fred

I am a follower of Jesus, the husband to Alison Glenn, daddy to my little man Ian. I am a son, brother, friend, bi-vocational pastor of Williamsburg Christian Church, ethnographer, activist and justice seeker, founder and president of 3e Restoration Inc, adjunct professor at Regent University, and mission specialist of church renewal with Mission Alive. I received my B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and my Masters of Religious Education in Missional Leadership (MREML) from Rochester College. I am currently working toward my Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology at Northern Seminary.
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One Response to One Another, For the Other

  1. Fred says:

    Reblogged this on Joined In God's Pursuit of Restoring Lives… and commented:

    A word from Fred.

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