For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We must not be like Cain who was from the evil one and murdered his brother......
We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death. All who hate a brother or sister are murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life abiding in them. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us - and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God's love abide in anyone who has the world's goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?
(Church in Wales lectionary, from New Revised Standard version)
My elderly Aunt Winifred positively disliked the Ten Commandments, because she said "they didn't apply to her"! But the first letter of John says otherwise. If we wish someone was dead, but don't actually murder them, we have nevertheless murdered them in our heart. And when we ignore someone then we have behaved as though they were dead. Either way we have the seeds of evil within us.
Being a Christian is about believing and living our faith. If we believe what our bible teaches us, then we need to change our lives. In cooking terms, we only know a cake is what it says it is, by eating it. Saying we are a Christian is not enough, we have to prove it by living a life of love in our heads and showing it in our actions to others. No-one said it was easy, folks!
You have taught us
that love is prepared to
lay down our life for another;
help us to clean up our thoughts
and put our faith into action
in order to help others.
In a practical way, since most of us are not required to give up our life for another person, how can we show love for other people? Here are some thoughts: