John 15:12-13 (NIV)
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Moss is quite prominent in Iceland. Although small, each tiny plant intertwines with its neighbors, providing incredible support as they work together to form a hummock. It hungers after the rain, which is quite abundant in Iceland, absorbing it, and the nutrients it brings with it, through its tiny leaves.
Woolly Fringe Moss is a widely-found variety in Iceland, as it is well suited for the cold Northern climate. Ideally it prefers temperatures between 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit. However it can tolerate the extremes of heat, frost, and drought.
Over time, a tiny, unified colony of moss will grow into hummocks 4 to 24 inches thick, making it quite spongy to walk on. The closeness of the tiny plants that comprise a hummock also discourages colonization by other plants. Without this unity, enemy plants would plant itself in the midst of the moss, thus destroying its effectiveness!
These plants remind me of Jesus' ideal for the Christian community. Jesus wants us to be so unified that the enemy cannot enter in!
This unity among Christians depends on three important ingredients: love, forgiveness and leaving all control to God's Holy Spirit. In all reality, what makes us one is our belief in the Son, in whom we solely depend!
"Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name - the name you gave me - so that they may be one as we are one." (John 17:11 NIV)
"Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified" (John 7:38-39 NIV)
If we remove any of these ingredients, we can be assured that the evil one will take root in our midst and create division and discouragement.
"The thief (The evil one) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10 NIV)
Our unique belief in the Son makes us One! With Him at the center of our lives, adversity will have no impact on us. Our strength comes solely from Him!
Dear Lord, we thank You for the strength that You give to us. Help us to work together as Your people to protect and guard each other form the evil one. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.