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Peter’s Perspective: Zoom out, Zoom in

April 26, 2020

At the end of the day, family is what really matters.
My closest friend, for most of my adult life, was like a brother to me. He and his family were very close to me and my family. Our families even vacationed together a few times.
When my friend was nearing death in the hospital, I offered to come to his bedside to join his wife and sons. His oldest son was very kind to me on the phone, but told me no, they just wanted family there.
At the end of the day, family is what matters most. I get it.
We’ve seen this during the current pandemic. Siblings reaching out to siblings. Family members who had all but lost touch with each other, are once again talking, sharing, reminiscing.
When we “zoom out” and look at the big picture – when we consider what is really important in life – family emerges as a priority.
In his first letter, Peter calls upon us to have a “sincere brotherly love” and to “love one another earnestly from a pure heart.” (1 Peter 1:22) There needs to be something special, something akin to family, in the way that we relate to each other. In fact, something even more intimate than biological family, as Jesus observed early in His ministry on earth (Mark 3:33-35).
Jesus command us to love each other (that is, to love our fellow disciples) as He loved us… as part of our witness to the world (John 13:34-35). Paul calls upon us to prefer those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10). And John observed that our love for each other within the church is actually a sign of our having been saved (1 John 3:14-15).
Sometimes it seems like we need to work on our love for each other within the church. What can we do to nurture this kind of brotherly love?
This lesson is an opportunity to consider what it means to obey Jesus’ command that we love one another as He love us.

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