Today we’re going to do something different and begin with a Scripture reading from Mark 12:28-31.
28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g]There is no commandment greater than these.”
32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
—-Mark 12:28-31, The Bible
Just a reminder for all of us right now. No matter what side of the political, social or religious divide you may find your on, we all need to remember what Jesus called the greatest commandments, to love God and to love our neighbor.
Take a minute and look at your attitudes, words and behavior toward those you disagree with and may even consider your enemies. If we are going to call ourselves Christians, no matter what else your call yourself, we must live lives that follow the teachings of Jesus.
If you think the word neighbor refers only to your fellow church members or those you agree with please refer to Luke 10: 25-37 for the story of the good Samaritan. You may remember that Jews and Samaritans hated each other.
Do you have the courage to reach out to someone you may hate or even consider “evil?” I am preaching to myself here. I live surrounded by outspoken people with different political and religious beliefs than mine and I get very perturbed with them, but this is something we have to do It is our calling, we can’t ignore it and still call ourselves followers of The Christ.
Now let’s stand and sing the closing hymn with Rhonda Vincent. It’s a good one!