Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Second Greatest

In any competition - everyone strives to be number one - the best - greatest - among all competitors. Whomever that person is gets all - the attention - the publicity - the grand prize. All others - "also-rans" - second - third - fourth - place - passed over - smaller rewards - less publicity - very little attention - losers. All eyes on the big prize - the rest - ignored. All worthy of attention - anyone who enters the competition - should be acknowledged - complemented for making an effort.
When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was he told them - Love the Lord your God with all your heart - your soul - your mind. That is the number One - First -commandment - He went on to say - there is another - second commandment - Love your neighbor as yourself. The second commandment - an also-ran - second place - often overlooked - ignored. Like the First - the Second is very important and not to be overlooked. To understand what it means to love one's neighbor means you have to understand what it means to be - loved as yourself - loved - not by yourself - rather as you are loved - by God. That also-ran commandment - very important - it tells us to love others as God loves us - them - a love that cannot be measured - limited - put into a box. We are each called to love in earnest - consciously - with our whole heart. Not always easy to do - not something we wish to do with  those who oppress - offend - hurt us. As disciples of Jesus - we have no choice we must love - without limits. To love without limits does not mean accepting bad behavior - rather if we truly love - care about others - we will speak honestly to them - in love - informing them why they are hard to love - what they are doing wrong - why they are difficult to love. It is incumbent on us to be frank - honest - to bear the burden of trying to help them to become lovable. Our job - as Christians - to turn losers - into winners.

Deacon Dale