Scripture: Romans 13:1-14
Key verses: (8-10) Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.
Reflection: As we get closer to Valentine’s day, this passage is perfect. Love is in the air! I love Valentine’s day because it is hearts, candy, flowers and we tell people we love them. One of the youth challenged me on my belief because they don’t believe in Valentine’s day. This wise 11-year-old said that as people of faith we should be loving our neighbor every day of the year. I am grateful for the reminder!!
The “love” that is being called for is not emotion; it is not “liking,” “getting along with,” “desiring,” or “feeling warm about.” The “love” Jesus is talking about here is trust, loyalty, enduring devotion, being attached to one another. As people of faith, we are called to LOVE.
Owe no one anything, except to love one another.
My 11-year-old friend is right, we believe in loving one another. I wonder if we actually believe in the love marketed on Valentine’s day, a love that is suspiciously easy on us.
This is not the definition of love that Jesus is working with in the gospels. Jesus invites us to love God with the whole self, with “all of your heart, and with all of your soul, and with all of your mind” which is demanding and risky. There is much to learn by seeing the love of Jesus in action. The same love that inspired Jesus to eat with outcasts, reach out to the untouchable, embrace the powerless, also drove him to confront the injustices of the world. In Jesus, love showed up.
Let us fulfil the law and love one another. 365 days a year.
Prayer: God of love, stretch our hearts so that we may love as you love. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].