“Everybody needs someone beside em’ shining like a lighthouse from the sea.”

from “Brother” by NEEDTOBREATHE


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This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you. No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends.

John 15:12-13

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The words of Jesus in this passage can be a little intimidating. Don’t worry, he isn’t telling us that we have to sacrifice our lives for our friends in order to prove our love — phew!

He is telling us, however, that being in relationship takes love, and love is not selfish.

Loving someone as God has loved us means real, authentic, unconditional love. This type of love knows no limits, no expiration dates, and no dead ends. It’s hard work! Sometimes we don’t feel like we can love unconditionally, or we feel like we don’t want to sacrifice anything for our friends — don’t worry, everyone feels this way from time to time. But, even though it’s hard, we are still commanded to love each other. So, in each of our relationships, each and every day, we try to do the hard work of loving one another as God loved us. We will fail, but if we try, we’re living into God’s commandment.

Ashley Lytle Carr

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God of love, you have shown me a love through your Son that surpasses all my understanding. Help me to know that love, to embody it for the sake of others, and when I fail, help me to try again and again as you have commanded us to do. Amen.

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Remember that in Matthew 18:20, Jesus tells us: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.” God is present in the midst of our squads, no matter what they look like. Go now into your day, and as you go: Be in relationship. Seek out God’s children. Meet them with love. Practice kindness. Live together in peace. Know that God is there.

Ashley Lytle Carr

Ashley Lytle Carr is an Episcopal priest in Atlanta, GA. She is currently serving as the Associate Rector at St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church where she works to remind people of God’s immeasurable joy. In her free time, she enjoys kayaking and all things outdoors with her spouse and two dogs.

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