One of the challenges of this pandemic is staying connected with family, fellow church members, and friends. The New Testament has numerous “one another” commands that were given to the early Church to help them build connections and promote a sense of fellowship in the body of Christ. These one-another commands also promote a spirit of empathy and compassion. We invite you to prayerfully study these commands, and think of ways to use them in your relationships.
Serve one another
We are to “care for one another” (1 Corinthians 12:25), “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2), and show hospitality to one another” (1 Peter 4:9). How can you help those who have lost their job, or are facing eviction? How can you help people suffering from depression, or who just need a friend?
Pray for one another (James 5:16)
One pastor sends a personal text to his congregation to alert them that he will pray for them that day. He invites them to share any prayer requests or praise reports. A classmate types a prayer and texts them. You might want to consider doing this with people on your prayer list or people that you know are experiencing a crisis.
Forgive one another (Ephesians 4:2, 32; Colossians 3:13)
Forgiveness is a key means of promoting unity. This is a good time to review your relationships and offer the gift of forgiveness. Or, you may need to apologize to someone. How do you get started? Perhaps, make a list of people that you need to forgive or apologize to. Then prayerfully begin to forgive or apologize to them one by one.
Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:19)
Music is a wonderful way to lift people’s spirits. Some musicians have been doing mini-concerts on Facebook. I do not sing or play an instrument, so I share links to songs on YouTube with friends who are bereaved or in need of encouragement.
Use your God-given gifts for the benefit of one another (1 Peter 4:10)
Our talents can be used to bless people during the pandemic. Henrietta says, “I love to cook! I cook lots of food and carry it to people’s homes. I wear my mask, ring the door bell, and leave it on the porch.” What are your gifts and talents? How can they be used for the benefit of others?
Love one another (John 13:34)
Jesus says love one another. We are to love people as Jesus loves us. The love Jesus calls us to empathizes with and seeks to understand people, and then shows compassion through helpful acts of love. There are many ways to show love during the pandemic. Two simple ways are to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Teach one another (Romans 15:14; Colossians 3:16)
Jesus says to go into all the world and teach. We cannot physically travel to teach, but we can still fulfill Christ’s commission. One way is to send a handwritten invitation to watch the It Is Written or Breath of Life telecast to your friends and neighbors. Yaime Cordova gives Bible studies on Zoom. William Smith uses Facebook Live to share an encouraging message and pray for people’s prayer requests. He says, “I am reaching classmates and friends that I would never reach any other way.”
However God leads you to use these one-another commands, let’s seek to stay connected and build new connections during 2021.
is the communication director and Southern Tidings editor at the Southern Union Conference.
Southern Union | January 2021