A Charlois Pastoral Reflection

Saturday, July 23rd, 2022

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  … You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Matthew 22:37 and 39  NRSV

This passage from the book of Matthew in the Christian Scriptures brings to the forefront the core of teaching in every spiritual tradition; Love.  If we boil it down, every world religion would have us to love God and each other.

To be specific about this passage, the teachers of Jewish law are trying to trap Jesus by making Him sum up the beliefs of the faith.  His answer does that extremely well.  By loving God, we are satisfying the first three of the ten commandments that God gave to Moses.  The other seven are satisfied by the “Love neighbor,” clause.  To go further, all of the laws and profits are being addressed by one of these two commandments.

So why are we commanded to love God and neighbor?

We are to love God because He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the Creator and sustainer of all that is, was, and will ever be.  In Him there is none other.  We are to love neighbor because we come from the same substance, God.  By being so we are intricately connected.  What we do for others we do for ourselves.

One of the goals of a spiritual life is to be re-united with God and creation.  “As it was in the beginning,” so shall it be in the end.  The only way to bring that about is through love.

So, Love God, and Love neighbor as self.  For there is no other way.

Go in God’s grace.

Pastor Yancy

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