The end of last week the ducklings and I drove home from my brother's house. The second day of the trip we drove into and through New York state on a major highway. As we entered the state I began to see signs every couple hundred feet, informing drivers of the various laws that needed to be obeyed now that they had entered the state. 'Use of handheld devices prohibited by drivers' 'Headlights required when windshield wipers are in use' 'move over and slow down for stopped vehicles' 'slow traffic keep to the right' 'seat belt use required' Then we went through the territory of the Sequoia Nation, which apparently has it's own rules and laws, which anyone traveling through must obey as well. It struck me that life is full of rules. We pay hundreds of men and women outrageous salaries to make and manage the laws that we are all compelled to follow. Some of those laws are silly, some necessary. But what laws do we have to obey as children of GOD? There are certainly plenty of things GOD commands us to do, with the intention of making us a people set apart as HIS, and of helping us live a good and fruitful life, but what is the most important law HE has given us?
The sermon today was about love. Unconditional love that GOD has given us, and that we are commanded to give to others. When asked what the greatest commandment was, JESUS said that it was to love..
."37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22:37-40
He didn't say a word about where you could park your donkey, or whether it was legal to mix religion and politics, or how parents were to educate their children. HE didn't go into how fast people could go on the highways, or whether it was ok to own a weapon and when and where and how it was ok to use it. HE didn't say a word about commerce or transportation or real estate or insurance or medicine or any of the many issues that our government thinks it needs to control. HE said that the most important thing that we are to do, the only 'law' HE spoke about was love. Love GOD. Love your neighbor. Period. Love. That doesn't mean that we have to agree with each other all the time. It doesn't mean that we have to compromise our beliefs. It doesn't mean that we need to reject the Word of GOD to make the world happy. It means that we are to show all His children the love that HE has shown us. It means that we are to treat all of HIS children with respect and compassion and dignity. Even if (when) we disagree with them. Not to celebrate sin, but to celebrate life. How else can we share HIS truth? How can we help the world see who HE is, if we don't show them HIS love?If HE is love, then when we show HIS children love, we are showing them HIM. Seems pretty simple.
LORD, please forgive me for those times that I don't show Your love to all of Your children. Please help me to look past differences and see to the heart of those who need You. . In JESUS' name. Amen