Scripture: Romans 13:1-14
Key verse: (8) Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
Reflection: Paul reminds the Roman church to “pay to all what is due them — taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.” Leave no debt remaining to those who you are indebted to.
Today is the day when all the candy disappears from the shelves and the flowers are gone from the florist shop. Today is filled with red hearts, bouquets of flowers, assorted chocolates, and stuffed teddy bears. All of this is to show our love for someone. Today is Valentine’s Day. And there are some who will go into financial debt in the name of love.
According to a survey by CompareCards, 10% of Americans say they’ve gone into debt spending for Valentine’s Day; 22% of people believe such debt is worth if it makes their partner happy; 26% of Americans have gone into debt pursuing a romantic relationship. I do not believe this is the “love-debt” Paul speaks about in this passage.
The only debt that we should have is the debt to love one another. This debt-obligation comes out of the realization of what Christ did for us. Once we understand how Christ overcame sin and death as a sign of God’s love, bringing us back into a restored relationship with God, it gives us a new perspective about each other. We didn’t deserve grace or mercy but because God loved us so much we received both. In the same way, because God loved us we should also extend both grace and mercy to each other.
I wonder how you are showing your love today. I wonder how you are responding to God’s love found in Jesus Christ today and every day.
Prayer: We love because you first loved us, O God. Christ came to love those labeled other and outsider, those who the world deemed unworthy and unlovable. May we do just that, in the name of Love. Amen.
Author: Ben Brannan
[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].