Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Time is Now

Grace and greetings.

The following is my Sunday evening meditation based on Romans 13.8-14.

“Owe no one anything, except to love one another”. Paul, the Hebrew scholar, quotes from the Ten Commandments and includes the quote from Leviticus 19.18, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If we can learn to love our neighbor, we will be fulfilling the Law. It seems so easy, just love one another, but it gets hard to follow it through.

If we love our neighbor, we will not want to hurt, steal, oppress, speak ill of them along with everything else we tend to do to each other. This means to love those who do not love us; to love those who do not think, act, or worship like us. It means to love those who dress differently, eat different foods and have different rituals and habits than ours. As we know, loving our neighbor is to show compassion on those to whom we maybe at war with; at war mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or even physically. We are taught to pray for our enemies; can we pray for our enemies and then go out to hurt them? Not if our prayers follow the understanding that we are to love our neighbors.

Paul goes on to express the need and urgency of the lack of time to follow through with this. As Paul writes the night is nearly over, and the day of the Lord is to dawn upon us. We do many things in the dark, hurt full things, mostly so that we will not be seen by others and most of all, by God. Now is the time to realize that we live in God’s light forever. We are to continue to show God’s love to one another, particularly to those we have our differences.

I have struggled to live this out in my own life. Though I teach, I preach, I study, and I love, I too hold grudges. I would like to think that God thinks like I do on the political, social and theological issues of our day. I want God to show the “other group” how wrong they are. Does it really matter who the “other group” is: the liberals; the conservatives; the moderates; the Republicans; the Democrats; gays; the anti gays; those who support the right to legally and medically safe abortions or those who feel abortion is wrong at anytime; the warmongers; or the peace advocates.

As our own time grows short, we are being called to put our lives in order, to reconcile with those who have differences, to make peace with those that we are at war with. We are called to love one another, and let God do the judging, let God hand out the punishment, let God be the one whom chooses who is right and who is wrong, at the time of God's choosing. It is not as if we really know the whole score and scope of life everlasting. We are not called to judge others, we are called to love, here and now, because the Dark of Selfish Night is coming to an end, and the Day of the Loving Lord is dawning upon us.
Peace and blessings.

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