A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
-John 13:34-35 (ESV)
"Go check on them." That was the response of a little girl, named Sophia, when her special needs teacher asked what to do when you're feeling sad. Sophia was born with a hole in her heart and has to wear a trach full-time. She didn't take her teacher's question to be about what she does or needs when she is sad, but as how she responds to others. Christ doesn't just tell us he loves us. He tells us to love one another, just as he loved us.
It's Maundy Thursday, a day when we remember that Christ's one command to us in the Gospel of John is to love one another as Christ showed us throughout his life and ministry. In our everyday lives, this is lived out mostly by checking on people. Our loved ones, our community of faith, and strangers. When the teacher questioned his student, she answered, "Go check on them. See if they're ok."
The life and ministry of Jesus Christ's example of love that is our model, our guide for HOW to love others as he loved us, is marked by Jesus checking on people. He checked on the woman caught in adultery, the woman at the well, Zacchaeus in his home, Lazarus, Mary and Martha, and countless others mentioned. Even his most memorable parables record those who go to check and see how people are doing... the Good Samaritan, the Good Shepherd, the widow who lost her coin, and so on.
We remember the important words of the Great Commission... to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, to visit the sick and in prison. They are specific. Loving one another, the MANDATE of Christ, from where we get "Maundy" Thursday, is vague enough that we often choose to ignore it or water it down. But it's as simple as going to check on people. When we find them, we will then know if they need our love, our care, our visit, our food, our clothes, or just to be included as we go to check on others.
Today, as you search for ways to live out this new commandment, to love one another as Christ loved us, go check on people. Be prepared to do whatever is needed. But go check.
Prayer for Today
Lord, help me this day to see people as you see them, to go and check on them, and see if they're ok. Help me to be like Sophia, wise enough to love through our actions. Amen.