Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Love one another

Once again this Sunday, the lessons are about love. Peter's declaration that "Truly God shows no partiality" seems to cry out for an institutional response. But I think my job this week is to tie together loving as God loves us to removing boundaries and barriers on a more personal level. I need to help my parishioners realize that the Holy Spirit is working in their lives to help tear down barriers that God did not build in the first place and how seeing each other through the love of God that we know in ourselves is the only way for that to happen short of an experience like Peter's. And I think it helps to know that Peter learned the lesson more than once as he backslid on occasion.
Loving as God loves us is, for most of us, a lifelong education. We might think we are doing really well but then we realize that there are still people we aren't loving so much as we are judging them. Where is the line between those two things?
My guess is that there is at least one person in each of our lives that we love deeply, maybe even unconditionally (or as close to that as we humans get), who has done unlovable things. How have we managed to keep the barriers from coming up? How has the love we feel mitigated the circumstances?
I don't know where these thoughts are leading yet. It's only Tuesday, after all, and the Holy Spirit has a few more days to work me into shape.

1 comment:

Ray Flanary said...

To love God and to love our neighbors hangs the whole of the law. Wow, what a thought. I must say that at times, I am guilty of not loving God or my neighbors. My admonition to us all would be if we cannot love each other then how can we profess to love God? This is a VERY difficult thing to do because I don't even like most people so how can I love them? How do I love the "Christian" who hates me from the pulpit for being gay? How do I love the politician who tries to make laws to oppress me and write discrimination into the constitution because of my sexuality? Love is a most difficult and perplexing thing because I think most of us confuse love with our own selfish desires. I must confess that the more I think about the concept of love I must say that it seems more about service to others instead of service to self. It is more to do with action instead of flattering words.

How do we love people instead of judging them? That is a difficult question that you pose. Perhaps if we could focus on more of our similarities and our common conditions instead of wasting time looking at each other's faults, this could definitely help. Perhaps if we kept ourselves busy with service to others who are in need and do it with humility instead of expecting praise and self-aggrandizement.

I really don't know how to answer this either but to say that love is an emotion that truly is above the "animalistic" impulses of our human natures and truly is a godlike sentiment.