Hear what Jesus says:

Love God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great law.

And the second is similar: Love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.

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If anyone else has reason to put their confidence in physical advantages, I have even more:

I was circumcised on the eighth day. I am from the people of Israel and the tribe of Benjamin. I am a Hebrew of the Hebrews. With respect to observing the Law, I’m a Pharisee. With respect to devotion to the faith, I harassed the church. With respect to righteousness under the Law, I’m blameless.

These things were my assets, but I wrote them off as a loss for the sake of Christ.

Philippians 3:4b-7

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The Apostle Paul writes to the people in the church of Philippi from prison. His letters to the early church are rich sources of information about the first Christians. Paul is worried in this part of the letter. False preachers have arrived in Philippi preaching a gospel of following the rules. It wasn’t the rule to love God, love our neighbor, and love ourselves, but the idea we can follow all the rules (which change depending on who makes the rules), and then God will love us.

These rules, Paul notes, won’t make God love us, because God already loves us. Period. We don’t do anything to deserve this love. We can’t earn God’s love or behave ourselves into being loved by God.

Whether we follow the rules or make a real mess of things, whether we know all the books of the Bible or none of them, or whatever standard we’ve heard from false preachers, God loves us. Period. Not because of anything we’ve done or not done, but because God has chosen to love us.

Laurie Brock

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God of endless grace, remind me in the moments when I fail that I am loved by you. Guide me in the moments when I am tempted to feel too much pride because of my success to remember that you love the least of these. Open my eyes to see your shining love in all those I encounter this day, reminding me you love us all equally because we are all your beloved children. Amen.

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We are Christ’s presence of love in the world.

How will you share this love with those you meet today in what you think, in what you say, and in what you do?

Laurie Brock

The Rev. Laurie Brock is an Episcopal priest serving as Rector of St. Michael the Archangel in Lexington, Kentucky. Her second book, on the spiritual lessons horses teach us, will be published in the spring. Nina, her American Saddlebred horse, is very excited her holy horse wisdom will be shared with others.

Making Space - Quiet as God

Carter Harrell

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