We are called to love each other as God loves us.
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“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
1 John 4:11 English Standard Version
I can relate to Nolan, our youngest grandson. He’s the baby in the family. Though he has only his older brother, and I had two older sisters and one brother, we still bring up the rear. Nolan’s older brother, Eli, who took this picture has responsibilities that Nolan never will. It’s not a good thing or a bad thing, but an “is” thing. Both my son and daughter-in-law are very conscious of this fact and try not to put a heavy burden on Eli’s shoulders (maybe that’s because both of them are firstborns).
Even though Nolan “steals” his toys, interrupts his games, and takes grandma’s attention away from him, Eli loves his brother. A number of you reading this blog relate to Eli. You’re younger sibling(s) treated you the same way, yet you still love them.
This love that cares for each other, when it’s difficult to love, is the call of the Christian community. John calls us to love each other in the Christian community because God loves us. His love for us is not that of an older sibling, but of an ever gracious parent; a parent who keeps us accountable for our actions yet never ceases to forgive; a parent who always longs for us even when we long for other gods; a parent who brings out the best in us when all we see is the worst.
I don’t know why Eli took this picture or what was running through his mind, but I want to believe that he took Nolan’s picture because he loves him. Besides taking pictures of windows, trees, and rocks, Eli snapped shots of his family. There were many other people at this event, but he only chose to take pictures of people he loves and his brother was one of them.
As those who believe in and know personally the love of God, may we stand proud to take pictures of each other in the family of Christ because of the love we have for each other.
Text Copyright Douglas P Brauner
Picture Copyright Eli Brauner