Love for Our Brothers and Sisters

Photo by Rosie Fraser on Unsplash

1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; 10 and indeed you do love all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, beloved, to do so more and more, 11 to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you, 12 so that you may behave properly toward outsiders and be dependent on no one.
Love for our brothers and sisters.

The letters to the Thessalonians admonished the early Christians to not be a burden to each other. The hope was, as it is today, that Jesus would come back soon. In response to this news, there were people in the church that quit their jobs and waited. As time went on, this got old. Instead of being a useful member of society, these loafers became a burden.

How do we show love for one another?

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in late February. The sun was shining and the hope for an early spring was in the air in Northeast Ohio. A Sunday drive with the windows down was on many peoples’ agendas that day.

After worship and some activities that afternoon at the church, I arrived home and was greeted by my wife as I got out of my car. She informed me that the hospital called to let me know that a couple of church members were in a car accident. This is back in the days before cell phones. Land line phones were the way we communicated. So, I was off to the hospital in Massillon.

I went in through the emergency room entrance and was taken back to visit a mother and her college-aged daughter. They were out for a Sunday drive on a two-lane road. Someone went left of center and hit them head-on. Thank God for airbags. They both had broken bones in the arms and legs, but they were going to be okay.

I prayed with them and told them I would be back to visit in the coming days. I got out of the way of the doctors and nurses and let them care for the two women.

I headed home once again. And once again, my wife greeted me in the garage. She said, “Don’t get too comfortable!” Another call came in from a different hospital about another car accident. Back in the car I went, off to a hospital in Canton, about 10 miles from Massillon.

Once again, I entered through the emergency room entrance. I was met by the father of a teenager who was in surgery. The father and his wife got the call from the hospital earlier and came immediately. They got to see their son before he went in to the operating room, and now they waited. We prayed together and waited.

Their son had some broken ribs and lots of bumps and bruises, but he was going to be okay. As we sat in the hospital into the night, we found out more about their son’s accident. The policeman on the scene said it looked like someone clipped the back of their son’s car, which caused him to fishtail, go left of center on the two-lane road, and run into a car head on.

Yes. You guessed it, I am sure.

Church members in the same accident.

In the following days, these two families taught me how to show love for one another. They didn’t know each other before this incident; it was a big church. But they cared for each other. When I visited, the first question I was asked was always about the other family.


The love God shows us and commands us to share is a love that puts the other first.


It’s sometimes hard for us to do.

But when you see it happen, like these families showed me, it’s a beautiful thing.

As beautiful as a warm spring day in the middle of winter.

Love for our brothers and sisters.

After a few months, the families were finally able to meet. Tears were shared, and genuine concern continued.

Let us pray:
Thank you, God, for your great love. As you have loved and continue to love us, may we do as you command – love. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

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