Luther Seminary God Pause
Thursday, 10/23/2014 Reading: Matthew 22:34-45
As this devotion was being written, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights was opened here in Winnipeg. In this impressive futuristic structure visitors walk an ever-ascending pathway beginning in darkness and concluding in light. Along the way, interactive displays encourage visitors to take personal responsibility in exploring human rights violations and outright atrocities, as well as commemorating those who struggle against such violations and seek to redress them and prevent them from occurring or reoccurring.
As such, the museum is a manifestation of the biblical commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. In Matthew's telling, the same Greek word-->agape>--is used to express both love of God and love of neighbor. This underscores the truth that such love is not an "either/or" proposition, not even "both/and." It's the same love; you cannot have one without the other. Love of God is love of neighbor; love of neighbor is love of God.
You are loved--heart, soul and mind--and so you can love.
You are love, O God. By your Spirit inspire us to live in your love in service to all people, working for their rights and needs. Amen.>
Lanny Knutson Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Master of Divinity, 1969
Matthew 22:34-45 (NRSV)
34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" 37 He said to him, " "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." 41 Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: 42 "What do you think of the Messiah? Whose son is he?" They said to him, "The son of David." 43 He said to them, "How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying, 44 "The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet" '? 45 If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?"
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