Love & Christian Duty
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. ≈ 1 John 4:8
I remembered Martin Luther (1483 – 1546) today. A PBS documentary, books from divinity school, and quotes of yesteryears swirled into view. “You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say.” And “The truth is mightier than eloquence, the Spirit greater than genius, faith more than education,” according to Luther. Humble memories that sparked hope as I grappled with the notion of Christian duty.
The idea of Christian duty towards humanity. All of humanity… those in the body of Christ and those that are not yet believers. All of humanity… those that favor one mode and those that favor the other. All of humanity… those that look one way and those that look another. All of humanity… Jews and Gentiles as created by God.
Nothing profound… not metaphysical… nor perplexing… Plain and simple reasonable expectations befitting a Christian. Old Testament commands (Deuteronomy 6:5 & Leviticus 19:18), while the three synoptic Gospels (Matthew 22:37-39, Mark 12:30-31 & Luke 10:27) avow Jesus’ message… of loving God with our whole being and loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Christianity, the lens through which I view the world. Christianity, the glory that reflects God’s creation. Christianity, the love of Jesus Christ that is for all of humanity. Christianity, the faith that frames understanding, guides relationships, and prescribes moral character based on love.
I bowed my head, fold my hands, and meditated on Philippians 4:8-9 (KJV), Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Please God… Bless America… the land that I love. Amen.
Lifting my eyes towards the hills from which comes my help. I considered the words of Martin Luther again, “Christianity can be summed up in the two terms, ‘faith’ and ‘love’… receiving from above (faith) and giving out below (love).” Hence, on earth… every action taken… should be tempered in love.
Therefore, for the Christian… love is duty and duty is love… whether called by any other name.
God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.