Monday, May 14, 2012

Love is a Verb, Not a Feeling

Our pastor preached on the Gospel yesterday and focused on what it means to love each other.  He didn't sum up his thoughts quite this pithily, but again and again, he reminded us that love is a verb, not just a feeling.

He moved to this part of the sermon after reminding us that Luther said we can't just not bear false witness--it's not enough to tell no lies.  We have to actively believe in the best of people and look for the best in them.  Oh dear.  I have a lot of work to do in this area with certain humans.

Actually, I've already done some of this work--at work, as you might expect.  I remind myself that not everyone is efficient in the ways that I am.  I remind myself that people are doing the best that they can do.  Their results may disappoint--but no one goes to work or class saying, "I wonder how I can fail today.  In what spectacular ways can I go down in flames?"

Our pastor moved to talking about our neighbor and how we define our neighbor.  It's not a geographical definition.  Luther said that where there is need, there is neighbor.

Luther said that faith is an active, busy, creative force.  With enough faith, we can't help but do good works.

And for those of us who are feeling a bit depleted, our pastor reminded us that God gives us faith enough to love as Christ loves--so much so that we would have to choose to live differently than Christ did.

What he left unspoken:  so many Christians do, indeed, make that choice not to live Christ-like lives.

My prayer for the week:  Creator God, please fill me with the faith I need to live a life that emulates Christ's.  I am surrounded by non-Christ-like ways to live.  Remind me that you have called me to a better life.  Remind me that I have a higher purpose.  Fill me with the faith that can move my feet, with faith that will remind me that love is a verb, not a feeling.

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