If you think of glory as light, it is bright; we are amazed and blinded in its presence.

Love, though, is warm; we are invited to enter it, to be enveloped by its welcome.

Imagine these two portions of the spectrum coming together, one bleeding into the other, each becoming part of the other. You find it hard to distinguish them as separate.

Now think of God.

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Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:33-35

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Sports fanatics are easy to spy. Their favorite team is splashed across a bumper sticker, tee shirt, sweatshirt, baseball cap, or iPhone case. Their loyalty is showcased, and their favorite team logo proudly donned. Sports fans are recognizable.

I wonder if the same can be said about a community of believers. Are we easy to spy? And if so, for what reasons? Are we noticeable because of disagreements, hypocrisy, and judgmental attitudes? Or are we easy to spy because of kindness, love, and hospitality?

In today’s passage, Jesus tells his disciples that the world will know they are his by one thing and one thing only: when they love one another.

Sisters and brothers, if there is one thing and one thing only that marks us as people of God, may it be this: that we love one another.

Aram Bae

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God of glory and love, help me to be someone who loves others in what I say and by what I do. Help me to show your incredible love with those in my community so that the world may know that you are a God of love. Amen.

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God the Creator, guide my heart and fill it with kindness and gentleness.
God the Redeemer, clear my mind and focus me with mercy and grace.

God the Sustainer, steady my soul and convict it with justice and truth.

As you bless me today with your glory and love, may I bless others too.

Aram Bae

Aram Bae is director of family ministries at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in the heart of Manhattan. She’s writing her dissertation on youth ministry and in her next life would like to be Anthony Bourdain. She’s a northerner by location but a southern gal at heart; nothing makes her smile bigger than a plate of fried chicken, barbeque, and collard greens. Cornbread sweetens the pot, too!

Turn Your Eyes

Ken Medema

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