Brotherly Love And Unity
Luz Cintron

I have wrestled for days upon a word He has been dawning in my heart.
See, all started few weeks ago when I had this idea to start to
put together a small inventory of scriptures illustrated with paintings
from the masters. I thought it to be my idea back then. Then I found
this list of all the One Another Lifestyle List scriptures. Another
brilliant idea that I just appropriate, for I thought to make a
series of small pictures, one for each scripture. I've had for some
time in my mind, the idea to put together a small Christian gift
shop somewhere on the web.

But this Peter scripture got a hold on me :

Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the
Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently
with a pure heart. 1Peter 1:22

I start to look for a good picture to portrait that kind of love.
I had one idea of what the picture should look  when I got into
my reference material. Then I found this entombment by Botticelli
and stopped to look  at it. The Lord grab hold of me through the
picture and suddenly He started to unfold things before me.

The day of His death came alive before me, from the perspective of
the disciples and shook all of me. How many times we have thought
of them  at that point in their lives, before being empowered  with
His Most Holy Spirit as weak, or feeble? After all, most of  them
scattered away and hid.

But I was seeing a different picture. I saw a mob of angry people,
much like a riot screaming in anger against the Lord. There was
anger in their voices, fists lifted up in menacing gestures., and
the crowd pressing and pressing almost to the verge of loosing control.
Pure hatred and violent scorn. and they were in the midst of it.
outnumbered, following still from afar the One precious to their
hearts and witnessing how this crowd was tearing Him apart, not only
in the physical crushing He was enduring, but emotionally in all
the hatred that was poured upon Him.

The meek and lowly, gentle Lamb of God received all of hell's hatred
upon Himself. It was not only God's Holy Anger against sin He faced
that day,  it was also hell's anger in vicious display, raging  its
"victory" while closing its claws upon Him to rip Him away from life.
I saw His little flock following afar and suffering with Him. Then
the picture before me started to tell the story though its details.

I saw a group of believers not even 12. I saw  the crown of thorns
neatly laid down upon a white blanket. I saw the nails neatly there
too. Then I realized, they had received His broken, lifeless body
and to do so, they have grouped together to receive what was left
of Him. And they took Him to the garden, and there they cleansed
Him as well they could, with the time pressing them to hurry. And
they took each of these things off from His flesh and placed Him
in a shroud.. I saw their pain, I could hear their silent cry, and
the piercing screams from time to time as they worked to prepare
Him for the tomb. I saw them suffering together. Loving Him still,
together. Dying themselves in their despair and their own agony
upon the loss. That was a deeply dark day for them. They were to
certain extent participants of their Lord's rejection and sufferings.
They were there and knew that as He was despised,  that anger was
coming upon them too for believing and following Him. That was  like
being in the midst of the worst riot ever and the police was against
you too. All there was left to them that day, was the broken, lifeless
body of their Beloved One and they were tending to Him in spite of
what it may cost to be identified with Him at that point in time.

Then I realize their love and courage and understood why He called
them friends. I am most sure that many of us today, even as empowered
with His Most Holy Spirit as we are,  would run faster and farther
than Peter and hide in a cellar to cry, if put in that circumstance.
. Because I realized what they had endured I felt  that we as a church
have lost touch with what it means: the unity of the Spirit, the
one accord spoken about in the book of acts. That it  did not come
to them because of the Spirit. It was there from before.

They waited in the upper room for the  Promise. It says Acts 1:14,
that they all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.
Their spirits were united by the  pain they endured together, their
sufferings gave them to become one as they endured through all the
things happened to Jesus and themselves. They went  through loss,
despair, discouragement together. They were found traveling to Emmaus
in two (Luke 24: 13-32). They went back to their ways for a while
falling from hope but still together (John 21:1-3). When Christ gather
them back and then sent them  to the upper room to wait, they found
hope still together.

When Jesus chose them as disciples and had them under His care, living
with Him day to day, it  was more than just the tradition and costume
of those days. He was knitting their spirits together and with His
too. Toiling the ground of their hearts to make them fertile, for
the unity of the Spirit to become a reality among them.  That work
even though shaken remained through Calvary's dark day.

About a year ago, I remembered one day going to church and from the
beginning to the end of the service, I felt devastatedly lonely.
Everything seemed so hollow, so empty, at times it made feel sick
to my stomach of the things I heard.. Great songs of love that sounded
like a broken cymbals. At the end of that service I was so sad my
Spirit couldn't wait to cry but I couldn't . I felt everything was
void of what it was supposed to mean, even though I knew my brethren
and knew them, that they are not hypocrites. I could not make sense
of that  I lived that day, for all this months until this day in
which His Spirit put one and one together to make two.

For He showed me what true love of the brethren is, and what it takes.
We lack it. They lived together not because  they were enduring
persecution and hid together and came together in order to survive.
The apostles did unto the believers what they saw Jesus did to them.
They took the new believers home under their care, they became family.
They were giving the life as they saw their Lord gave His, day to
day. He was their Way and their Life and their Truth that brought
them deliverance from the mentality and bondage of this world.

The believers, they didn't bring all they had, to give it, because
they wanted to impress with their faith and be part of the "in crowd".
They were passing from death to life and they were entering His
kingdom where unity is a way of life and love its bond. I doing so
they were surrendering to God all they were and had. That is why
the rebuke unto Ananias and Sapphira is: "Do you think you can deceive
the Holy Spirit? As central as the brethren were in that lifestyle,
they were out of the picture and Ananias and Sapphira's sin was
one against the Most Holy Spirit of the Lord.

That question piercing my heart. Do we think we can deceive the Holy
Spirit? What kind of love is this we have unto each other? That day
the Lord showed me something we lack. We lack the fertile ground
needed to have this commandment in 1 Peter, take hold of us. We do
not know that kind of love, nor are we ready to give ourselves to
the Lord like that, as He did for us. Is He our way?

We have not been taught nor trained because the church itself have
lost sight of it. We move under the individualistic mentality of
this time, and are not too different from the world. That is one
of the things that have robbed us from the power of the primitive

Before your flesh cringes under these words like mine did, in fear
of what man may do to me, if living under such conditions, fearing
the cost it would take of me to surrender to Him like that, think
and consider all of what I have shared with you before Him today.

For the picture of perfect brotherly love is found at the tomb embracing
our pain in the pain of the brethren.

"So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon,
son of Jonah,  Do you love Me more than these? He said to Him, "Yes Lord; You know
that I love You." He said to him, "Feed my lambs."

He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you
love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes Lord; You know that I love You:" He
said to him, "Tend my sheep."

He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of  Jonah, do you love
Me? Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do
you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You
know that I love You". Jesus said to him  "Feed my sheep."

Most assuredly, I say unto you, when you were younger, you girded
yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will
stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where
you do not wish."

John 21:15-17

And maybe before we think about living together under one roof, we
should consider how far from it we have fallen in our hearts and
we should repent from our lack of love unto Him through our service
to each other. In truth, we are a lukewarm church. To prove it there
lays the time we resent the intrusions of others into our lives,
and the times we resent not having our "privacy". Not to speak about
the love for the things we collect in our lives and our homes to
give us comfort and how our hearts clings to them as the rich young
man , who sought to follow Jesus ,clung to his "riches".

He is the Faithful Shepherd, He knows just how to ease our fears.
Before we run into doing, lets wait on Him to do the preparation
of our hearts to turn them fertile for the unity of the Spirit. Lets
seek repentance  in the personal revelation of where we have fallen
and how far from Him, as our Truth. Then let us pray for  obedience
to the daily things required from His heart unto us.

The peace of the Lord, longsuffering and patient in the Faithfulness
of His love be upon you. May the Lord keep you and guide you and
give you rest.

Your servant in His love;
Luz Cintrón
( background design by Geriluz
at the above website )

Let us be glad and rejoice,
and give honour to Him: for
the marriage of the Lamb is come
and His wife hath made herself ready
..Revelation 19:7