2nd of an 11 part series
I’m a person of faith. Specifically, I adhere to the Christian faith. This is probably a good thing since I also serve as one of the pastors at my church. Because of this, I am committed to the mission of Christ. Just what does that mean?
Unfortunately, for a lot of people this means a list of things that Christians are against. It means an interpretation of the Bible through the lens of Western (i.e. American) culture. That’s not what I’m talking about. What I’m committed to embracing and advancing can be summed up in an event from Jesus’ life that is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament of the Bible.
This group of rigid, fundamentalist, religious types asked Jesus what the most important of all God’s commandments was. Here is how he replied:
“‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22.37-40 (NLT)
Jesus said everything that God expected of those who wanted to follow him could be summed up in four words: love God, love people.
Jesus assigned equal value to the two ideas of loving God and loving people. What people? Who is my neighbor? It’s your family, your friends, the coworker you can’t stand, the neighbor whose kids always run through your lawn, the barista who you see daily…everyone that crosses your path.
My commitment as a flawed human being learning to walk in God’s grace is to help others understand what that means. As I do that others will have the opportunity to consider living that out in their own life.
After twenty-five years, I’m still learning and it feels like most days I get it wrong. But I’m not giving up the hope that there will be a time when I will get it right most of the time.
Love God, love people. Easy to remember. Hard to do.