Summary: The church is a family and we have a need to keep up with each other. We have a need to know what happened to our Church MIA’s.

They were here a minute ago

John 13:34-35

We have witnessed an awful lot of different things related to war in the past month or so. We know more about the weapon systems than ever before, we know about the MRE’s, Meals Ready to Eat. Also called Meals Rejected by Ethiopians. POW –Prisoner of War, MIA – Missing in Action, RPG – Rocket propelled grenade. We watched as the forces drove across the desert and made rapid advances. Now they are looking for enemies, to bring them to justice.

But what we have heard and seen all through the campaign, were bits and pieces about missing service people. The ambush or crash the people were missing. It is important to the military command that every person that they have in harm’s way is accounted for. They don’t want any mysteries out there. The military is a sort of family, even if they are from all different backgrounds and places, that have a definite understand of the value of the individual.

In our scripture today, we are going back to the evening of the Passover meal. When Jesus says that he is giving a new commandment. But it sounds failure. It sounds like the commandment that he sez is the second most important.

Mark 12:31 The second is this, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these."

But this time is different. “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” Instead of neighbors we are to love each other. And instead of self we are to do it like Jesus did it.

I believe that the model that Jesus is asking us to use it that of a family. We are to love each other no matter what. Isn’t that how Jesus demonstrated love.

That’s hard isn’t it? To love each other even in a family can be challenging.

From the outside most families look pretty good. We see families at church and as far as we can tell they are perfect.

You know I believe that even in the best of families it is not always perfect. We get on each other’s nerves. Like on family vacations, I remember when mom and dad decided we would go to California in the Land-yacht station wagon. Three seats, the one in the back facing backwards. Luggage on top and in the back so that 3 kids have to share the middle seat. The dilemma – 3 kids… two windows.

Three kids picking at each other, wining and fighting and we had not left the city limits of Irondale Alabama (a few miles).

By the time the day ended there were invisible lines which were no man’s land, established by mom, who sat for hours with teeth gritted just waiting for the next cry of foul, from the back seat.

Mom and Dad probably did not like us very much after only a few hours of travel. But the never stopped loving us. Yes they threatened to stop the car in the middle of Texas and put one or all of us out of the car. But they never actually pulled off and left any of us there…… for long.

Jesus came into the world to demonstrate the kind of love that God had for his creation. He may not like us much when we act like we do, but He will never stop loving you. When we hop out of the car, God never puts it in gear, he sits and waits with the doors unlocked and call our names asking us to get back in the car. That is God’s kind of Love.

When Jesus called his disciples to love one another like he had loved them. He was telling them, look at how I do it and copy me. He is telling us the same.

Jesus came into this world and demonstrated the family relationship that God has always meant for mankind to have. The one on one relationship like Adam had in the Garden.

Jesus came into the world to show us how to love and live as a family. We think of a family as physically belong to each other. For Christians, Jesus Christ is the common bond, the church is a family tied together by our faith.

The military family we see on TV is tied together by the common goal of serving their country. They are a volunteer gathering of people from all over our country and they train just in case they are called to action. The spend years just practicing with the general hopes that they will never really have to use their skills. When they do, bad things happen to people that are not in their family, and all too often they happen to some that are.

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