If we are to be the Master's disciples, we must love one another. Jesus left no room for disagreement. In fact, our love for one another is to be the principal identifying characteristic of those who follow him. These are his words: “By this will all men know that you are disciples of mine - if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35) If this is to be the case for all Christians, how much more so must it be true of those who form up one of the communities he has called into being?
We, the Companions of the Cross, have to take this injunction fo the Lord very seriously and work at it. The love we speak of is not something that happens automatically. It is something that must be chosen by each of us.
Just what kind of love is Jesus talking about? How intense must be the love we have for one another? Here are more of his words: “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34) How has he loved us? Hear him again: “There is no greater love that a man can have than to lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) He didn't, of course, just say it. He did it.
The love he wants us to share, then, is the kind that is deep enough, committed enough, persevering enough that, did the circumstances call for it, we would actually be willing to die for one another. It's a tall order. The Lord obviously wants us to be very involved with one another, developing a life together such that people will marvel at us, be so impressed by what they see that they will be convicted about who it is we follow. The love we share will draw people to Jesus himself.