Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lucky 777

(This is the 777th post on this blog, the Lucky post, the Jackpot, the big winner)

There are two things that I love about being Lutheran. One is how deep, how profound, and how simple the Law is.

Consider what Paul writes in Romans 10:8-10, the Epistle for the 1st Sunday in Advent. "Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.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: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 10Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

But Paul... we need more specific guidance, give us more and more. No, actually we don't. Love your neighbor. Do not harm him. Simple as that. And deep as that. When you ignore your neighbor, you ain't loving him. When you cover the Truth of the word so as to avoid upsetting him, you ain't loving him. When you try to run his life by giving instructions you've no place to give, you ain't loving him.

To say "love your neighbor" is not the mamby-pamby cop-out that liberal jackwagons (I love that commercial, by the by) try to make it out to be. It is simple, clear - and hard as hell because my sinful flesh wants to love me and me alone.

I am to love my neighbor. And in this, I fail utterly. Even when I do show some kindness, something that might be called love, my sinful, greedy flesh wants praise and glory and payback for it.

And thus we hit jackpot number two - and this is the big winner.

Jesus Christ is the One who loves you, His neigbhor, and does so perfectly. Everything you see Christ do, that is for you. Every act, every healing -> that's for you. But not just that - every theophany of the Old Testament -> that's for you. Every Word written so that you might see His love for you, know His forgiveness, be pointed in all things to His Death and Resurrection.

In His great love for you, even He has deigned to make me a new creature, create good works for me that I will walk in without even noticing, simply so you can be loved... any love that comes from me is actually His. Everything always drives back to His love for you, over and over.

You are loved by Christ, you are sustained by Christ, you are forgiven by Christ, you are redeemed by Christ, you are restored by Christ, and you will be raised by Christ.

Why? Because He became man and made you His neighbor, and Jesus loves His neighbors. Simple as that.

Everything is just an unpacking of love - that our failures to love do not trump God's love, and that His love and mercy endure forever.

Ain't nothing better than that.

1 comment:

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Or, let the master say it:

"Faith brings and gives you Christ as your own with all His treasures; love gives you to your neighbor with all your treasures. And in these two relations a Christian life consists, purely and completely. Then suffering and persecution follow for the sake of such faith and love. Thence grows hope in patience." - Martin Luther, a sermon from 1522