There are many words to live by, many laws in our land, and today it seems we are more aware and engaged with them, at least in our media. We live by rules because rules help us operate together as a society- these are the guiding values which we solidify into expectations of our communities. The rules we live by are the values we encourage, but they are man’s laws – and as such are mutable to time and the whims of legislation.
For Christians, God’s laws come first – and today’s reading poignantly remind us not only of that – but also of the values behind His laws.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
-Matthew 22.37-40 (KJV)
We are not here on this blog to be political, but it is hard not to look at the world around us and question if we are moving towards God’s laws or away from them. For Christ calls us to love, with all our hearts, all of our beings, God and our neighbors. He calls us to build our society around this love, to frame our laws upon it.
I have the privilege to live in a place where I get to practice my religion freely – but today, that is not true for all of my neighbors, foreign and domestic- it is not true because we are building laws with fear not love. If we continue to place fear above all else while framing our community, we choose to move away from God and his love. Matthew calls us to live in the love – and today so do I.
Love thy neighbors, with all thy heart.