Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

This Sunday could otherwise be called “Golden Rule Sunday.” The first reading is from Leviticus and the gospel is from Matthew. In both we find this familiar theme:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37b-40, NRSV)

I’m sure you’ve heard this before. Love God and love others. Easy stuff, right? But unfortunately it can be tough, especially when we look at the world in which we live. Sin, death, violence, illness, inequality  – they seem to suck the energy out of us. And then it becomes much easier to doubt God and ignore others.

So today, I invite you to hear these words in a different way. God loves you and others love you. See, maybe people would be more apt to love others if they knew they were loved themselves. Maybe it can be easier to love God when you know that she loves you. Maybe it can be easier to love others when you know that they love you.

At least once in the upcoming week, remind someone that you love them. It can be a stranger, a coworker, a friend – anyone unsuspecting of your love. And at least one in the upcoming week, remind someone that God loves them. Maybe your light of love will encourage others to shine.

God, you are the holy lawgiver and the salvation of your people. By your Spirit renew us in love, and train us to care for all our neighbors. Amen.
Image “i meant it” ©2009 Sarah Sosiak. Made available under license CC BY-NC 2.0.

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