Saturday, July 3, 2010

Loving Your Neighbor

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Mathew 22:34-40

We are visiting with my 87 year old Mom who lives in the wonderful little town of Cape May Point. Most times in the year it is uncrowded and quiet, but it gets slammed with people during the summer and especially over big holidays like July Fourth. The traffic was terrible getting here. A three plus hour trip took closer to six. The roads were clogged with all sorts of folks desperate to get a head start on parties etc. Folks who want to recreate and rest often bring with them no rest, quiet or much joy. It is hard to love your neighbor when we are packed in like sardines. Many houses are full to overflowing. There are ten staying here. Loving your neighbor comes close to home.

Jesus reminds us of the important rules when others in authority want us to get things right. God wants us to love those around us despite the situations and the challenges. Despite the noise and the crowd, the irritating personalities and the excessive drama. Love them - the hardest job in the world. And so we have to rely on God, throw ourselves at God's feet and ask for mercy in every moment so that we can love despite how we feel.

Today, I pray that God will give me joy in each individual. I ask for God's strength and mercy so that love might be my happy duty, my alpha and omega, my day's beginning and end. May we all have the courage to love despite the crowds, the heat and the noise, for God's love is showered upon us all!

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