Faithfulness can seem impossible sometimes. There are so many things God hopes for us to do and not do. We wonder how we can possibly live up to the letter of the law.
But when we really dig down, the spirit of the law is not so difficult. God loves us and empowers us to love back to God and out to others. That’s it: love is the law.next >
A legal expert stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to gain eternal life?”
Jesus replied, “What is written in the Law? How do you interpret it?”
He responded, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.”
Luke 10:25-28next >
One of my favorite memories of my childhood is my mother teaching me to bodysurf. We would stand out in the dancing sea and wait for the perfect, giant, white-capped wave, then plunge ourselves in and get rumbled and rolled to shore. When you got it right, you’d land belly-to-the-beach your heart still racing – exhilarated, joy-filled, and a little bit terrified. I felt alive.
When asked how to gain eternal life, Jesus allows the questioner to fill in the 2 part answer. Step one – love God. Step two – love your neighbor. Jesus adds, “Do this and you will live.”
Jesus doesn’t say, “Do this, and some day, when your time on earth is up and you become a certified cloud hopper, your eternal life will kick-in.” Eternal life starts now. When we love, we live. When we do it right, loving with our whole selves, it is exhilarating and joy-filled and a little bit terrifying. Love is how we know we are alive.
Shelli Lathamnext >
God of love and life, thank you for the reminders of what gives me life. Help me to love you a little bit more today and to love my neighbor, even when it is hard or scary. Awaken me to what it feels to really be alive in you. Amen.next >
It’s not so much what we have in this life that matters. It’s what we do with what we have. The alphabet is fine, but it’s what we do with it that matters most. Making words like “friend” and “love.” That’s what really matters.
Today, may you do something that matters, trusting that you’re wrapped in the arms of our gracious God, whose number one rule is “Love!”
Shelli Latham is the pastor at Druid Hills Presbyterian Church, in Atlanta, Georgia. She believes the church is a place youth should be seen AND heard, loves Bible stories about feisty women doing gutsy things, celebrates any excuse to fly a kite in worship, and prefers her yellow cupcakes without icing.
Wondrous Love: Music of Lent - Jesus Lover of My Soul