“Heart and Soul”
Do this. Don’t do that. The imperative voice. The Ten Commandments. And then, at supper with his friends, Jesus says: “I give you a new commandment that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples…”(John 13:34) Love one another. The imperative voice. Not to be rationalized or adjusted but obeyed.
And that’s where it gets difficult isn’t it? Because it’s not easy to love. I mean, really, people can be so ignorant, so critical, so passive-aggressive, so mean spirited. And that’s just the other drivers on the road! Really! We all deal with those people. Sinners of all kinds. Love them? Sometimes it’s difficult being in the same universe with them!
Oh wait, St. Paul admonishes(Romans 3:23) “… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. And while we may try to pretend that our sins are somehow less significant than others, that we do plenty for our families, or give our time or money to social agencies or volunteer for the church enough to level the playing field, it’s rather like one child confessing to stealing a single cookie and suggesting that she is less at fault that her brother, who has stolen half a dozen.
The ‘new’ commandment reminds us that we are members of the Body of Christ, of the faith community, even though we may indeed struggle with our fellow human beings, in ways too varied to list. It is not because we are good people that we are God’s beloved. We didn’t do anything to earn God’s love. The fact that we are loved is a matter of grace. Therefore, we are to be bearers of grace to others, perhaps those quite different from ourselves, who are journeying along life’s road trying to find a little bit of love. What the world needs now…The imperative voice. Love one another!