A Call to Love
This is a time of unease. The nation is teetering and unsteady, ready to crumble apart it seems. Division has split us in the saddest of ways; not from an outside warring nation, but from within our own borders, sides taken; citizen against citizen, neighbor against neighbor based on political affiliations and which political yard sign each currently display. It is D vs. R and each camp is ready for a fight, swords drawn. My heart is heavy with the thought of how humans can turn on each other so deeply, the rage-drink brimming the cup - tipped and ready to spill over and burn.
My spirit is shaken and quivering like a sparrow caught in a storm, anticipating the crashing thunder and the imposing angst it brings. The election is now just moments away, not counted in months or weeks any longer, but days and hours. I force myself to step out of fear's cave to remember the soul-balm-filled words now: "....love your neighbor as yourself", Jesus asks, rather, commands of us. This causes a pressing question to arise: Is my neighbor suddenly unworthy of my love because they vote differently than I do? Are we really that easily swayed to unkindness and hate toward each other? Putting political affiliation up on the altar of our lives has soaked our society in a thick marinade of disdain for one another and we even elevate and demote people to good and evil based on political choices.
This is a real problem friends, so many people are giving a place of high honor to something completely undeserving. When we put politics in front of peace and love we are running blind and backwards towards a dangerous cliff. The first part of Jesus' command listed above is: "...you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ This is an all-in, barriers torn down, dance like nobody is watching type of love. It is a baptizing of sorts, drenching all of our parts and thoughts with intense yearning and affection for God. Once we have placed Him as our first and only object of worship, indeed the only One worthy, the love of neighbor can happen as a beautiful offering lifted up to Him and extended over to them, no matter their habits, ways, or lawn sign proclamations.
The final part of this command to wholly love states: "There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31) So, basically, Love God, Love others tops the all-time list of what we are called to while we are here on earth. The meaning of life in two short verses! People have sought out the answer to this question for centuries. They have climbed mountains, reached deep down and spent many hours and copious amounts of money seeking, seeking always seeking, but the answer has been there all along written in black & white and in red letters in God's book of life. Let's all remember, we are first and foremost God's created and beloved children and are to choose Him first and love like Him. We have a new battle cry - no matter which letter adorns your shield or your neighbor's, we will choose love.
Question: How will you love your neighbor well this week?