Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Matthew 22:36-40

This post is inspired by this study plan.

On the Tuesday before his death, Jesus taught this powerful lesson: all the law and all the prophets, meaning everything taught in the scriptures, depend on loving God and loving our neighbor.

This exercise is a personal devotional, helping me think of what I can do to hear Christ. But I had another thought I’d like to share.

Here in America, Democrats and Republicans have been having a debate for some time about the best way to help communities. The most charitable spin on the debate is that it is a question of whether we should help the disadvantaged through public or private institutions. There is some evidence that our more selfish tendencies are overcoming the desire to help others at all.

My plea here is that whatever your political or philosophical approach to this question, please follow Christ’s teaching to love your neighbor. Give service. Volunteer or work for non-profits or local governments. Donate to charities. There are a wide variety of ways to help. Our differing political persuasions shouldn’t prevent us from aiding those less fortunate.

As for the personal devotional, during this time I’ve been trying to spend more time talking to my friends and family. I’ve been calling each of my siblings, which I haven’t done consistently for some time. It’s small, but important. My mother has always set a great example of this – staying in touch with each of her siblings, no matter what is happening in their lives. As a result, I’ve seen how a family can stay together, even when they don’t agree with each others’ choices.

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