Love God, love others, love yourself. (And don’t forget to love your enemies.) “Do this,” Jesus says, “and you will live.” Clear advice. Sensible. And hopeless! I mean, seriously, Jesus, have you ever met us?
How do we love the bully or the betrayer? How do we love the person who has broken our child’s heart or our own?
Who is the neighbor we must love, and how do we love them? Jesus answers with the parable of the Good Samaritan, a story about an outsider who sees someone in distress and stops to help. One of my seminary professors summed up the parable this way: “Love is a verb.”
If love is a verb, then maybe the love God asks of us is more action than emotion. We don’t necessarily have to feel a warm rush of affection for someone in order to love them. We are asked to pray and to work for others’ wholeness–and as we do so, we may find ourselves changed as well.
This message is an excerpt from a September 2016 Cafe faith reflection, “The labor of love” by Meghan Johnston Aelabouni.
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