The Difference in Love
Christopher B. Harbin
Lev 19:1-2,15-18; Ps 90:1-6,13-17; Mt 22:34-46; 1 Th 2:1-8
Love-we write songs about it. We write poems about it. We watch movies and shows about it. We romanticize about it. Somehow, our writing, singing, talking and romanticizing about love does not always translate into living according to the love we claim to love. Relationships are not always romantic, sweet, loving, and picture perfect. Relationships include people, and that is where it all gets messy. Beyond the glitter, sparkle and glamour of romance, love requires a difference in commitment and the investment of our lives in the life of another. It requires that we give up something of ourselves on behalf of another.
My wife tells me that love means spending time with her. She has this idea that love means that I actually listen when she speaks. It means attention, respect, honor, time, and the use of my resources in her behalf and on behalf of the things, causes, and events that she values. Can you believe that she actually wants me to spend time with her, listen to her, do things with her, and be interested or pay attention to the things that interest her? You had better believe it, and so had I. Our relationship may depend on my attending to the time, energy, attention, and resources that I invest in Karen. Why would we carry on, as though God did not care for these things? Why would we act as though God did not have high expectations on that relationship we call salvation and faith?
The Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus and discredit him before the people. Their attempts with the aid of the Herodians in the question about tribute to Cesar had failed. The attempt of the Sadducees over marriage and resurrection had fallen by the wayside. They decided to try again.
They had studied the Torah and broken it down to a science. They knew every one of Yahweh's commandments by heart, defining a list of 613 separate commands in the Pentateuch. They had ...
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