29th August 2020

Love Survives!

“Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbour as yourself. I am the Lord.”
Leviticus 19:18 (NIV)

There was a group of religious people in Jesus’ day who gave him a hard time during his ministry whose constant goal was to shame and discredit him. The culture of the Middle East at that time was, and still is today, an honour culture. They complained constantly about what he did or did not do, according to their very own standard of righteousness. Pharisee was their title, meaning the separated ones! They prided themselves on being super-righteous and strangely enough, they specialised in ‘Social Distancing’ as a way of life! Not because of some virus or contagious disease, but because of their desire to protect their ceremonial cleanliness, which apparently became ‘defiled’ if they touched anyone who did not keep the rules in the Torah, the law of God as revealed to Moses and recorded in the first five books of the Hebrew scriptures! They religiously avoided the common people and would not so much as brush shoulders with them, or even look at them. Another part of their practice was to wash their hands often. Not just the hands but right up to the elbows!

Today we are doing this ourselves, not to avoid defilement, but to save our lives and the lives of others; not to earn brownie points with God. But just imagine living the whole of our lives with these restrictions—most of us are fed up with it after just a few months. Simply expressed, it is ‘Loving our neighbour as ourselves.’ This means being deeply concerned about their lives as well as our own. Jesus himself commands us to do this as a way of life. Notice in Galatians 5:14, the Apostle Paul echoes his words, “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself!’”

One day this virus and all the social distancing will be gone but I pray that our love and care for others will survive long after and that it has become a way of life. Love always survives you know. Once again, Paul hits the nail on the head in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”!

Prayer
Thank you, Great Father, for giving us instructions about loving and caring for everyone we come into contact with during our journey through life.
Amen

Study by Cliff Neill

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About the Author:
Cliff Neill is an Elder in Grace Communion Church Luton where he is on the Leadership Team.

Local  Congregation:
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
Farley Hill
LUTON
LU1 5JE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 10:30am

Local Congregational Contact:
Shirley McLean
Phone:  01442-780783
Email: luton@gracecom.church

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