Monthly Archives: June 2023

The One Anothers

one another

The Greek word allelon is used 59 times in the New Testament and means “one another.” Naturally, the statements that include allelon have come to be called “the one anothers” by biblical scholars.

What do the “one anothers” emphasize? Many things, of course, but the top three things are unity (1/3 of the verses), love (1/3 of the verses) and humility (15% of the verses).

Unity. The “one anothers” that focus on unity express that we should not grumble or complain about one another, but should accept, forgive and be kind. It is necessary that we dwell in peace together in order to accomplish the work of the Lord as a church body.

Love: The love we share with others should be unconditional, tolerant and devoted, the “one anothers” say. The basis of our love should be the steadfast love of Christ. “Love one another” is in the Bible 11 times, more than any other “one another” verses, revealing its importance.

Humility: Just as Jesus was humble toward others, we should show others humility in how we serve, how we act and how we think. Our attitude should always be to put others before ourselves and never shy away from tasks that the world considers lowly. The humility toward one another exalts Christ above us all.

Practice unity, love and humility toward one another today and every day. Here are some “one anothers” to remember from Jesus:

Do not grumble among one another. John 6:43 (unity)

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 15:12 (love)

If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. John 13:14 (humility)

Adding Depth


I watched a documentary on the famous artist Bob Ross last week. I remember him well from his half-hour shows on Saturday mornings when he would paint an entire landscape scene in watercolors in the short span of the show. One thing that he liked to do was draw a black line over a section he had just painted to insert another “happy little tree” in the foreground. It seems like a scary thing to do, to basically deface what he had just done. But Bob described what he was doing this way, “It pushes everything back and gives much more perspective.” What are things in your life that at first seemed like a blemish on your picture-perfect days, but later proved to open your eyes to a deeper meaning and outlook for living?

Perhaps it was an illness or an accident, a depression or an addiction, a disappointment or a loss, but in the long run, you came to understand yourself and God better. You can observe things more clearly through a deeper knowledge of what is truly important and what is most worthy of our time and attention. This verse from Scripture comes to mind:

We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. —Romans 3:3-5

These words from Paul can sound odd and even counterintuitive in our times when difficulties cut across our life. But when we look back later, we recognize the depth of endurance, character and hope that are created within us and that color our existence with newfound beauty.

I Am God

I am God

In the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, there is a tree-like creature named Groot. All that Groot ever says is, “I am Groot!” no matter what the question or situation. And characters in the movies seem to understand the point that Groot is saying simply by his voice inflections or volume. Groot more often than not tends to be the voice of reason when the Guardians of the Galaxy have a decision to make. His repeated declarations have an impact and meaning that can sometimes be quite powerful.

The character of Groot makes me think of our God who tells us again and again, “I am God,” but we often don’t listen or we forget his consistent message to us. When we are afraid, he says, “I am God” and we are calmed. When we need help with a problem, he says, “I am God” and we come to a conclusion. When we are confused or angry about something that has happened to us, he says, “I am God” and we have clarity and confidence.

His identity as our God covers over every circumstance in our lives and gives us the direction we need to move forward in our faith. He is the guardian of our hearts and knows everything about us. All we need to do is listen to him.


Noah’s ark

I have always loved the word antediluvian. It sounds fancy and kind of dramatic. It simply means, “the time before the Flood.” After the Flood was over and they were saved, Noah and his family must have constantly organized their memories into two camps: before the Flood and after. There must have been a sense on their part that the time before the Flood was old, outdated, intrinsically bad and out of touch with God. “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually,” the Bible says of those antediluvian days (Genesis 6:5). All that horrible stuff was behind them. The Flood had literally washed all of that away, and life after the Flood would never be like it was ever again. Noah‘s family had a new start, a fresh beginning, a chance to live for the Lord with love in their hearts for him. “And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.’” The sons of Noah who went forth from the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the people of the whole earth were dispersed” (Genesis 9:1, 18, 19).

St. Peter later reminds us of this major event and makes a connection to other events in time: “God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:20-21). The Flood is like the washing we receive in Baptism. The Flood is like the new life we receive through the Resurrection.

Before our baptism, we are drowning in sin, but after we are safe. Before the Resurrection, we are dead in our sins, but after we are alive in Christ to live forever. What was before is no more. A new world opens up daily for us through Baptism, through Resurrection, through Christ. The Flood reminds us of that.

Acts, Cont.


[Paul] proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance! —Acts 28:31

Acts 28:31 is the last verse of Acts, and it leaves the reader hanging. We want to ask, “And then what happened?” We only know that Paul was in Rome and was preaching “with all boldness and without hindrance.” It might be a cliffhanger, but it is a good way for Acts to end actually, because it gives us direction in our discipleship. In many ways, we are the ones now to carry on with what Paul started and finish the story of Acts in our own lives. The mission is clear: proclaim the kingdom of God and teach people about Jesus. And be bold about it, not letting anything hinder you or distract you or pull you off course.

Our lives are Acts, Cont., Acts 2.0, Acts Here and Now. Let the Gospel message flow freely and confidently from you! If Paul can do it, so can you!

He Did, He Will

Red Sea

I heard the refrain “He did, he will” in church recently, and it has stuck with me. If you think about it, almost all of the Bible is an account of what God did: He created the world, he made human beings, he promised to send a Savior when those humans sinned, he rescued Noah and his family from the flood, he gave Abraham and Sarah a son in their old age, he saved the Children of Israel from slavery in Egypt, he brought them to the Promised Land, he cared for King David, he sent Jesus to earth to save us and unite us with him.

We have read about and celebrated all that he did. So we now have the confidence that he will. He will continue to bless us through his creation, as he did in the beginning. He will continue to forgive us and love us, as he did with his people of old. He will continue to care for us, as he did with David. He will bring us safely to the Promised Land of heaven, because of what Jesus did on the cross and at the empty tomb.

What was done in the past speaks directly to what will be for us in the future. That we can be sure of. And it is our turn to pass on that certainty, as the psalmist says, “We will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord and his might and the wonders that he has done” (Psalm 78:4). Each time we share the Scriptures with someone, we are in effect saying, “Look what he did. Know that he will!” What a strong message and hope to have within us each and every day.