June 9, 2016 - True Love

You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother,
‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.

Matthew 5:20

An atheist and a Christian volunteer at a soup kitchen.  The local news crew interviews them, and asks each of them why they are there.  The atheist might say she is there because she feels an affinity for her fellow human being and wishes that they are care for and come to no harm.  If the Christian says she is commanded to be there and expects reward and avoidance of punishment for her obedience, she has missed the Christian message.

The theology of Jesus’s day was that intentions were meaningless. Whether you were obedient out of fear or obedient out of true allegiance to the divine message didn’t matter.  Jesus disagreed.

Jesus encouraged us to love one another.  He did not encourage us to imitate love, or go through the motions of love.  If love is commanded, it is not love.  If love is embraced because we feel divine love, it is genuine and limitless.