Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. 8 At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. – 1 John 2:7-11
Do you have a junk drawer? Almost everyone does. In my junk drawer is a multitool which I occasionally use, a special heavy-duty scissors, various and assorted coupons, key rings, an cable for an old iPhone (which no longer fits the phones we now have), an odd battery or two (do either of them work?), and…junk! Cast a new eye on those things – especially the “junk” and granddaughters can discover a treasure trove. “Can I have this quarter? Oh look! Here’s a toy car, and some golf tees! Can we go play golf?”
Jesus says that one who has been trained for the kingdom is like a man who brings forth treasures new and old. There are new discoveries to be made; new ways of applying God’s truth to life, and those great ahah! moments that come to one who walks in the light of God’s grace and truth.
John says he is giving no new command; that it is as old as the beginning of all things. But he says it is new as well; there are new ways the old truths intersect with life in the light. The key to all that is to love your sister and brother in Christ. It is when the threads wear thin and the fellowship is strained that we discover how precious love for one another truly is. There we discover the depth of God’s love for us – not a love of convenience, or an attitude of a mere kindred spirit – a deep, abiding, caring love the depths of which are revealed in the hard places.
A thought…perhaps your church family includes at least one person whom to love is a challenge. It might be that things are not going as you would wish. We can abandon these challenges and hard places. But that’s the old way; it will never reveal the treasure of a deeper and truer love. To remain and seek the good of your sister and your fellowship is a walk in the light that will guide your ways in God’s love and peace.