Let Brotherly Love Continue
Brotherly love is, as the old Boston song says, more than a feeling. True brotherly love is manifest in loving attitudes and actions, most especially through self-sacrifice for one another.
Currently, many people are finding opportunities to express brotherly love, often while putting their lives on the line, in their responses to the catastrophe in Ukraine.
One major expression of brotherly love comes through monetary donations to organizations such as ADRA. Together with Hope Channel International, they are delivering emergency supplies to Ukraine.
Time and physical presence have also been offered up by numerous volunteers who are traveling to Poland to assist refugees as they cross the border from Ukraine, or who are cooking meals and giving first aid. Lillan Boulard came from France with a friend to help parents at the Medyka, Poland, border crossing. He is showing brotherly love by dressing up as the “Pirates of the Caribbean” character Jack Sparrow to cheer up the children.
Those within Ukraine’s borders are also receiving help.
Entering Ukraine to provide help is a riskier proposition. Polish postman Janusz Zwanski and three coworkers traveled to Ukraine’s western city of Lviv, and on into Kyiv to provide much needed aid, including military gear, Pampers and food to soldiers and civilians. Zwanski explains, “We have historically had some tensions with Ukraine, but that is all in the past now. The moment that Russia invaded Ukraine, we knew what we had to do. We knew that we had to help Ukrainians.”
Unfortunately, many offering help have also sacrificed their lives. Russian snipers gunned down several people in a food line in Chernihiv. One of those was Idahoan Jim Hill who was waiting in line to get provisions for hospital patients, including his hospitalized partner.
Hebrews 13:1-7 lists several tangible instructions on expressing brotherly love: Feed and house strangers in need. Care for inmates, and empathize with them as if we also were in prison. Do the same for those being persecuted as if we were suffering the same abuse. Be faithful to our marriage vows. Don’t be swayed by riches, but trust God for all of our needs. Finally, support our leaders, especially those who share the good news of God’s word.
The counsel of Hebrews 13:10-14 reveals that we show our love for Jesus when we serve those “outside the camp,”—when we leave our comfort zones to minister to the least of these. True brotherly love comes from a desire to love others as Jesus loves us.
Connecting: How have you been the recipient of true Christ-like love? Who has given you comfort and aid simply to be charitable, without thought of reward?
Sharing: What is the best reward one can receive for extending Christ-like love?
- A sense of well-being, knowing that you’ve helped someone who is helpless
- The smile you see on someone’s face
- The self-satisfaction that comes when people see you as a really good person
- The anticipation of hearing Jesus say someday, “Well done, my good and faithful servant”
- No reward is necessary when brotherly love is simply an expression of who you are deep down inside
Applying: Although Ukraine is getting a lot of attention right now, there remain unanswered needs all over the world—some right in your own neighborhood. Take time to learn about those needs. It may seem overwhelming to consider all of them, but identify one or two situations where you can give tangible assistance.