News, Connections and Photos from the life of the faith community at CAPC Oakland
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
In searching for a scripture for Lent, I reached for a book, An Extravagant Mercy, by M. Craig Barnes, that someone had given Caroline. It had lain unopened on my shelf for three years, but Caroline had marked with a dried flower a devotional on this letter of Paul to the Thessalonians.
May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all. (I Thessalonians 3:12)
Like God’s love, this text was a gift to me! In the midst of thorny parables and difficult challenges for followers and doubters alike, Jesus commands me to” love one’s neighbor as oneself,“(12:33). Paul makes the commandment even more difficult, writing that we love not only one another, but “all.”
The author states that that is exactly the point:
There is no human way we can love everyone. Yet with God, all things are possible. He can even change our hearts. If we want to become more loving, the place to start is not by looking at our relationships, but at our God who is love.