Through the Storm
Well, we’ve made it through the snowstorm. It’s been interesting to hear the stories and experiences swapped. It was quite a bit of snow, but the wind and the drifting is what made it so difficult. Maybe that’ll be our last for the winter? I certainly hope so.
Preaching is an interesting activity in a number of different ways. I’ve tried to express this before and it’s difficult to explain, but preaching is an event. I can do as much study, preparation, and writing of my sermon, but when I’m preaching, there are always changes that take place. In the sermon yesterday one of those changes happened. In all my preparation and writing of the sermon, I had not thought of the passage during the final week of Jesus’ earthly ministry which took place on what we call the Great Day of Questions. You might remember that Jesus was asked about the greatest law.
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:34-40, NIV)
Love God and love neighbor—the whole Law and the Prophets hang on these. Of course, yesterday I reminded us all of the story where Jesus teaches that the neighbor is the one who shows mercy on the one who needs it. It isn’t defined by ethnicity, race, family, or creed. I suppose in our current climate I should add ideology to that list. As Christians were are called to love extravagantly, the way that we have been loved.
Praying for a time when Christians are again identified by their love for others.
God bless, Brian
Scripture readings for next Sunday
Matthew 6:1-18—Can you think of specific examples of how this passage applies to us today?
Ecclesiastes 5:1-7—What does this teach us about praying?
Matthew 23:1-12—What’s the relationship between Jesus’ criticism of the Pharisees and the Sermon on the Mount?
Leviticus 23:26-32—What does this passage teach us about fasting?