Follower of Jesus (7)
Jan 08, 2017
Follower of Jesus (7)
“The most important one” answered Jesus,
“is this: ‘Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, The Lord is one Lord.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart
And with all your soul and with all your mind
And with all your strength.’
And the second is this:
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no commandment greater than these.” (6)
Human love (2)
Human love is a wild mixture of ego love, lack of love, and soul love. We are not an afterthought, but the very image of God. Our mixture of love, hate (lack of love), infatuation, ego-based love, and yes, the love of God that shines through us (soul-love) in surprising moments is who we are. Humanity is not a mistake by God, who has had eternity and most likely an infinite number of similar creations to hone the skills of creation.
When we are at our best, we meet that second part of the great commandments: we love our neighbor as ourselves, while loving God with all that we are; mind, body, and soul. If we are lucky, we do that combined loving more and more as we age. And despite all that we fail to do, and most of us fail to fulfill that command most of the time, we are the perfection that God created us to be – at all times, whether we know it or not. God sees our soul, not all that we fail to do, or all that we do that seems to counter that command. God loves us with an infinite love that overcomes all the mistakes we make; and I certainly know that I make many mistakes.
We are human. We have emotions, we have feelings, we have a hormonal system that pumps us full of various compounds that make us who we are. We too often condemn ourselves for being human; but God understands our humanity and loves us because of that humanity. Not loving us in spite of that humanity with all it’s crazy actions, but because we are exactly as God created us to be in this life.
Now don’t tell me that because the first humans “Adam and Eve”, ate a fruit, that God condemned the countless generations of humans to be less than perfection. That is just not so – we are perfect as we are, and we are here so that the one we call Jesus, the nexus of the Christ in eternity, could show us the way. It may seem strange to call humanity perfect, but God is patient and is waiting for us to grow up to be adults, and perfection is what humanity will achieve – someday. Like children, we spill our milk, drop our food, fail to do our homework – but it has only been 75,000 years or so that we have been maturing. That is a tiny portion of the age of our universe, 13.7 billion years.
So we humans struggle on. We may be reaching a peak in our growth, as our numbers are reaching a point that we may outgrow the capacity of the earth to feed and house us, but we still have some room to expand, and our growth rate is slowing. We may be reaching a point where we learn to live this great commandment or we vanish and start over somewhere else, on another planet around another sun.
This commandment is clear. We either learn to live as one people, or we will die as one people, a failure in the long line of creations, and probably not the first failure.
God calls us onward, ever onward. The two great commandments are linked together – we love both our God and all of our world, for all of our world, humans, animals, the fish, plants, then oceans, the rocks, are our neighbors. We cannot say we love God and hate any of our neighbors; that is, we cannot mistreat anything in our world and say we love God. Those two commandments, to love God and love our neighbor are co-mingled such that one demands the other. I promise you: if you treat all your neighbors, human, animals, fish, plants, ocean, and rocks, with love and care, you love your God if you know it or not. And the opposite is true: if you mistreat your neighbor, be the neighbor human, animal, fish, plant, ocean, or rock, you do not love your God with all your heart, mind, and soul, no matter how much you claim.
O Blessed One, Your presence shines in our world, in blessings and signs of love that exist everywhere we look – if we only have eyes to see. You give us hope, moments filled with joy, opportunities to feel and express Your love in all that we see. I am grateful for all that enters my life; open me up to all that You call to me in my life. I am grateful for those who see Your presence in the lost tribes of our world, all the refugees from war, the homeless in our world, and the poor who struggle to put bread on the table each day. Open my heart to understand in a deeper fashion each day what it means to be a follower of Jesus, to listen to the words of Jesus each day in my life. I thank you for all that You do for me, and I thank you for each breath I take of that precious oxygen that is such a marvel, and for the trees that recycle my carbon dioxide into oxygen, back into our air so I can breathe again.
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