Somewhere between here, and there is a space which is absolutely perfection.
A place of peace and reconciliation which so many religious people seem to either be oblivious to, or simply prefer not to aspire to.
I believe that so many people of peace were aspiring this place.
Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Theresa, and so many more.
Jesus, spoke specifically to this effort in relation to our faith.
When asked what the greatest law was, he merely spoke of “Loving your God, and loving each other” and upon these two laws he stated hung all of the laws and all of the prophets.
Seems pretty simple in our post enlightenment age mindset, but for that time, these were revolutionary ideals.
When people would adhere so strongly to laws that they would know just how many steps they could or could not walk on the Sabbath in order to truly not be working.
But even for our time, when this admonition should be pretty simple and straight forward, so many people who follow Christ simply refuse to put the Love, before the Laws.
And that is what I believe Christ was asking us for here.
To put the Love first, and the laws become a Tertiary thing.
Something so huge, that it sustains all of the laws and all of the prophets which came before it, and yet it is something as simple as, Love..
And yet today, with so many issues that could simply be solved by lovingly placing ourselves in someone else shoes, from the plight of refugees, to Immigration Quotas, to understanding our LGBT friends, family members and neighbors and welcoming our Muslim neighbors not as potential combatants, but as Brothers and Sisters in the grand creation of a loving God, a God we all share.
Now do not think that I am being overly idealist here or that I believe the act of simply loving someone as they are is not an effort on our part, for I do not.
But that is exactly why I believe that Christ asked us to place this admonition above all of the rest, because it is so damn difficult.
Do you think Crucifixion was a walk in the Park?
He did it, because it was the only way, the greater way, and the way of Love.
And we are called to a similar path.
Love, all of those that you have no reason to love.
Love, all of those that scare the hell out of you.
Love the freaks, the geeks and the Ne’er-do-well’s..
Because this is what is expected of you.
Even more so than you memorized bible verses, or your perfect pitch (Or not so much) worship songs.
No one outside of your religious circles will ever look back upon you and fondly state how gloriously you upheld Levitical Law.
The World, which you have been called to go into and shower with all the Love which Christ has given you does not hold in high esteem your religiosity.
And neither does he.
He called people who chose Laws over Love “White washed tombs”.
I believe it was Paul who went so far as to state: “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”
Pretty powerful testimony to the place and rank of love in the hierarchy of the true heart of Christ.
Shed your religion, so that you may truly embrace your faith.
Leave behind you the fears that have made you immobile and mute in the face of loss, pain, fear and oppression and you will see a beauty blossom in your faith that will be almost impossible to fathom.
Trust me, I have made the exact same journey, or rather I am making the exact same journey. a lot of other people are as well. I pray one day you’ll join us, and together we can see the will of him who sent us accomplished in such a brilliantly glorious fashion that it will truly be as if a blinding light on the top of a hill, calling out to the hurting, downtrodden, wear of the world to come and be made whole by the simple power of truly unconditional love.