Paul’s letter to the Romans, Chapter 13, focusses on a series of short but powerful recommendations. These heartfelt passages deal with three types of love.
First, Paul reminds us “to keep loving one another as brothers and sisters...” As our faith is based on our relationship with God and with our fellow believers, it is important for us to live in a family like community where we really live out our faith. This “brotherly love” is meant to spill out to others who are close and not so close to us.
Second, Paul asks us to show “hospitality to the stranger.” This might mean giving food to poor or to reach out to the homeless or to the homebound. This calls for love and charity to those we don’t know.
Third, Paul asks us to “remember those in prison” especially those who are being persecuted because of their faith. Just as in Roman times, today, people suffer harassment and imprisonment for their faith in 130 countries. Prayers for them are a powerful form of love for fellow believers.
We face many challenges as we try to live out these three types of love. Brotherly love isn’t easy and neither is love for those we don’t know. Where do we get the spiritual energy to live a truly Christian life?
Paul’s answer has inspired millions of people throughout the world: “Jesus Is the same yesterday and today and forever,” (13:8). He is that ever present source of unconditional love that never changes. We have the security of his promise to never leave us.
When we make Him the center of our life, this relationship allows us to “recharge our spiritual batteries.” We become re-energized so we can live out his command to love one another.