Thursday, April 7, 2016

Striking a Balance

On a good day, could we all agree that we need to look out for one another? I don't mean just having the good-will of each other in mind, but actively seeking the best for each other.

What is the best? What might be enough? Is more better?

The great commandment is to love.  Here is the passage from Matthew's gospel:
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. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 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.’ 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 22:34-40, NRSV)
What might we notice about this at first glance?  Well, the greatest commandment is the first, but it's not the only. There is a second like it. They are connected. In fact, do you think the first is possible without the second? Can you love your neighbor without loving God?  Striving to live up to these commandments is enough for many to be preoccupied for long periods of time. You might say, it's a work in progress.

That's not all. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we have been given something other than this Great Commandment. We have also been given the Great Commission:
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”   (Matthew 28:16-20, NRSV)

As we continue our exploration on the topic of Mission this Sunday during the Faith Formation hour, we'll contend with these passages and their implications for our life together. I invite you to read over these passages and consider how things are going. Are we doing better at one than the other? Are both equally important? What are some things that you do and practice to strike a healthy balance?

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