The expert of the law and the Lord said the same thing: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:25-29; Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18)
That is what we’re called to do if we want to inherit eternal life. It is our big chance in life. It’s our ticket out of the fall and into the Kingdom.
Pastor Steve pointed out, this is the question that God gives us – “who is my neighbor?” It’s something we can’t afford to misunderstand or fail to hear. “A new commandment I give you – love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
Recollect a few things Pastor Steve said to this point:
- “We are the people of the Word.”
- “If you bite and devour each other, watch out, or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:14-15)
- “This is a love issue. My relationship with myself sets the tone for all relationships I have.”
When we end up with our back up against the wall (surely this will happen at times) – let us pray we do not forget that we are lovers of God and neighbor and so then the way forward is this. In this endeavor we can always succeed. This is the soul-anchoring hope of Christ winning out in our lives. In this endeavor we may succeed whenever we desire. This is the love of Christ in us. This is the promise of the cross. Love of God and neighbor is what fulfills our lives – it is the race and prize.
So “set out towards justice” as Steve said. Form, further and fulfill relationships with your neighbor and yourself until the particularities of whom God desires to be becomes clear. Remember: relationships always resolve themselves into particularities. If you aren’t sure where God is in your neighbor’s life or your own, it’s an optics problem. You aren’t close enough to see.
So get to know/love your neighbor and yourself. Ask the questions and raise the issues. Sincerity and love allow incredible kinds of communication/bonding not otherwise available. In Christ, all kinds of otherwise impossible and high and holy things are possible. God is reconciling people to Himself. Let’s be people who have the deal-making joy of saying “yes.”