This is part three of a series of the Five W's of One Another. I want to consider the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How of the one another passages in the New Testament. Please take a look at the first post before reading further.
Part 1: Five W's of One Another - intro and verses showing what the one anothers are
Part 2: Who One Another
Part 3: Where One Another
Part 4: When One Another
Part 5: Why One Another
Part 6: How One Another
Today I'll consider a where question.
Where do these one anothers apply?
Most of these verses don't really specify a location for the actions. There is likely many possible settings for these verses.
For example John 13:34-35 takes place while Jesus is sharing that last supper with his disciples. But I wouldn't conclude that Jesus wanted His disciples to love each other only when they were sharing meals together.
When Paul tells the Romans to live in harmony with one another in Romans 12:16, it implies that they were living life together. Likely multiple locations and times.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-10 we read that the believers were known for their love for all the believers throughout the region of Macedonia. The where in this passage covers a lot of territory.
Hebrews 10:24-25 is an interesting passage. It speaks of believers assembling or getting together. We know believers in the early church regularly got together. With these gatherings in mind we see two one another instructions. They are told to encourage one another, and to spur one another on towards love and good deeds.
Let's also consider possible locations for Ephesians 5:18-19. There is instructions not to get drunk with wine, so a likely setting is a home or some casual setting where this would be possible. I can't imagine this problem occurring in a setting where people were sitting in rows of pews. We then read instructions about speaking to one another in psalms, hymns and singing together.
1 Peter 4:9 speaks of offering hospitality to one another. A common location for hospitality is in your home.
A few conclusions:
- Many of these verses don't specify where the one another actions should take place.
- Believers would have gathered in homes, public spaces, markets, wherever.
- I don't believe the early church built a special building so they could do these one anothers
- Houses would have been a common location for most of these one anothers.
Should the where be important now?
Do you think special buildings make it easier or harder to carry out these one anothers? Showing hospitality, humility, living in harmony, not slandering, encouraging, teaching, instructing, admonishing (giving advice), agreeing with, forgiving, submitting to, singing together, showing kindness, being compassionate, bearing with, serving, accepting, and the repeated call to love one another.
Wherever you happen to interact with other believers, consider how you can participate in these one another activities.
I even believe some of these one another actions can occur online. Even though that where was not mentioned in Scripture. :)