song was popular with youth groups into the 70's. I remember feeling such a close tie with these college friends that the song became an expression of the bond between us.
Recently, our worship leader led our congregation in singing that song. I had not sung it in many years, and the lyrics brought up memories of college Bible studies. As I looked around the large congregation, I wondered if we truly were one in the Spirit. I feared that we were not. It seems to me that people are so busy in this day and age that we do not develop the close relationships that Christ wanted us to enjoy as Christians.
Why should we love and care for fellow Christians like our own family? The apostle Peter answered this question in chapters one and two of his first book. He said that, first, we are members of the same spiritual family. We have the same spiritual birth and the same Father. Second, we get our instructions from the same book, the Bible, and strive to live by the same code of conduct. Third, we struggle with the same issues and need mutual encouragement. Last, we work towards the same goal, to grow and mature in Christ.
As Jesus prayed at the Last Supper, his fervent desire was for Christians to be as one as he was one with the Father. The apostle Paul spoke of the church as a body. Just as one hand cares for the other hand, the church members should care for each other. Just as two hands work together to build a house, church members should build up each other to encourage each other to love and good works. Finally, just as a person would grieve over losing a hand because the body would be incomplete and it would change one's whole way of doing things, church members should be concerned when another member drops out because the body of Christ is incomplete; a member who helped build up the church is missing.
In John 13:34-35 and 1 Peter 1:22, Jesus commanded us to love our Christian brothers and sisters. He said that the world would know us by our love for each other and, in turn, would come to know him. In a world that has increasingly adopted an
anti-God, anti-Christian stance, Christians must renew their commitment to follow the Lord's command and love and encourage one another.