Love and the Law
Love one another. This morning we come to a passage that is so easy to understand and yet so hard to do. It’s about loving each other. We intuitively know this is a good thing. You don’t need to find it in the Bible or hear it on the lips of some wise guru to know that love for your neighbor is a good thing. Perhaps that is why it is called the “golden rule,” specifically, love your neighbor as yourself.
If it’s so easy to understand and we all intuitively get it, why does Paul take the time to put in the Scriptures? And its not just here. It’s all over the place. Paul writes about it in each of his letters. John writes about it in his pastoral letters as does James. And, of course, Jesus preaches on it frequently. Have you ever wondered why that is? It must be important.
We can think about what society would be like without this intuitive sense. Darwin’s description perhaps sums it up: survival of the fittest. Each man for himself. Kill or be killed. Without the sense that we should love our neighbor, that’s where we would be. So it is a good thing that this is so universally imprinted upon the conscience. And let’s be honest, there is a tremendous tension that we all feel to not love our neighbor. How often do you find yourself cursing another driver on the road or frustrated with the service you receive in a store on the phone or in a restaurant? Or blasting someone on the news or on social media.
In light of that tension, Paul and the other Biblical writers reinforce this moral command to love your neighbor by writing about it frequently. So, how are you doing with that?