“The Elect Lady”
The elder to the elect lady and her children … I ask you, dearly lady – not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning – that we love one another. - 2 John 1:1, 5
When you read this little snippet from 2 John, remember that what we’re reading is a metaphor. The “elect lady” is a community of people, and “her children” are the members of that community. Here, again, we hear a commandment that we are called as a community to love one another.
This commandment is always and forever a relevant one, yet it seems to take on a particular resonance in these particular days of ours. As we continue to move through simultaneous crises of all sorts and face challenging times ahead, our tempers grow short and our patience wears thin. We increasingly go into our bubbles of social media networks and “news” media outlets that express our own opinions and ideologies and become more and more distanced from one another. We feel more freedom with the buffer of our devices to be insulting and critical of people who think, believe, and live differently. It is becoming increasingly easier to not love one another.
The elect lady and her children are hurting. Our ability to love one another as a community of diverse people is hurting. Our willingness to be patient and understanding and take the time to truly listen to those who have different thoughts and opinions is hurting.
As much as I wish we could do away with things like social media and cable news, they’re here to stay and are now part of the fabric of our society. If those who populate those dominions aren’t going to honor the commandment to be loving then it falls upon the rest of us to do the hard work. It is work that desperately needs doing.
As children of the elect lady, let’s get to work.
God Of Love, inspire us at all times to honor the commandment to love one another; especially when that is the hardest thing to do.