Readings for Saturday Easter 4

Love is?

Leviticus 19:9-18

To summarize: leave some food unharvested in your field, don’t cheat, don’t lie, don’t swear, don’t oppress, don’t rob, don’t curse the disabled, don’t slander, don’t hate, don’t avenge, but love your neighbor as yourself.

Is this a major redirection for Jesus as He teaches the Torah (the Law) again in the New Testament?  Doesn’t Jesus take the law and put it on it’s head so that instead of not doing bad stuff, which is mainly what the above verses do (except leaving food which requires the poor to harvest themselves and that’s good), Jesus does two things.  He tells his disciples to love, pray for, and serve their enemies.  It is a living out of the law in positive action.  Secondly, Jesus lives out His teaching when he eats with sinners, forgives sins, heals and serves those in need.  Jesus redirects the law to a life that makes a difference and lives that life himself.

Lutherans should have had a big headstart in this since Martin Luther’s basic teaching book, the Small Catechism, interprets each of the Ten Commandments in positive action for the sake of our neighbor.  Help, serve, protect, improve, defend are just a few of the ways that Martin Luther brought the teaching of Jesus back into the basic teaching for a new Christian.  I am not meant to be a well-behaved, keep to myself, ‘good’ person, I am meant to change the lives of my neighbors for the better by serving them in love.

Published in: on May 1, 2010 at 8:39 am  Leave a Comment  

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