Last Sunday we tried something new and went to the evening service, at which the topic for the sermon was the "One Another" passages.
There are over 50 of these in the New Testament, if Google is to be believed; such crucial parts of Christian living as "Love one another", "Encourage one another", "Pray for one another", and so on come from the One Another passages. It's no exaggeration to say that most of my favourite sermons, Bible studies, retreats, and so on are the ones that focus on One Another.
For all my crankiness and anti-social tendencies, the truth is I love people. I love spending time with people; talking, sharing, laughing, hanging out, whatever-- I love it. The only reason that I get anti-social from time to time is because I get overstimulated from being around people; social contact revs me up but also wears me out, so I have to take a break. And so I've gotten this reputation of being disinterested in others, but I assure you, nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, I probably could stand to get a hobby that doesn't involve me talking my friends' ears off each time we meet.
(Although now that I'm thinking about it, I'm not sure why I on the one hand love people, but on the other hand find a lot of people really irritating. Something to wonder about later.)
Anyway! Jesus created the church; he placed us in his community knowing that we would need each other for support, for comfort, and for help. And then he gave his people the rules for life in his house, including how we treat one another. Because we're a family, and rules help control the fun.
And so on this Sunday I encourage you to love your neighbour as yourself, even the really annoying ones. (That part is really just for me; I know my readers are all lovely people who are never annoyed by their neighbours!) And now, sharing time: Do you have a favourite verse? Quote? Direction to run when the annoying people are coming?