29 Dec 2016
Sometimes the words of Scripture give us a very clear reminder. And this is what we have from Saint John today. He writes, “This is the way we may know that we are in union with [Jesus]: whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked.” In other words, when people encounter us, it should be like they’re encountering Christ himself. And that’s a pretty tall order to fill.
But, really, what Saint John is saying is that: if we’re going to call ourselves children of God, then loving our fellow Christians is not an option. If we are to be disciples of Christ, then we must be loving. After all, that’s our Lord’s most basic commandment: Love. Love God, and love our neighbor. If we can do that—even if we love imperfectly—if we can live a life of actually loving God and our neighbors, then we are truly walking in the Light of Christ.
If love is our basic mode of operation, then we are children of the Light. Then we are disciples of Christ, and children of God, because—as Saint John teaches us—God is love. And so, when people encounter us, may they encounter the love of Christ—for their good, and our own good as well. After all, we want to be who and what we say we are: We are Christians.