Mend the brokenness

Over the last several months or so, I have become quite aware of a dominant theme in the Bible: "Love of God and love of neighbor."

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus was asked about what one must do to inherit eternal life, and he answered by drawing attention to what was written in the law: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And Jesus went on to tell the story of "The Good Samaritan."

Luke lifted up and stressed the importance of loving God with heart, soul, strength and mind and loving your neighbor as one's self.

Currently we live in a world of division and brokenness. Differing political, cultural, national and religious factions all claim to have the right answers. And because of this, differences arise, schisms deepen, perspectives become stressed, walls of division are built, judgments become hurtful and exclusive, and the human family experiences brokenness, heartache and pain, and the situation worsens.

In my opinion, I don't think that is how Jesus meant it to be. In reading Luke 10:25-37, eternal life comes about from loving God with one's heart, with one's soul, with one's strength and by loving neighbor as one's self. The themes of compassion and mercy as demonstrated in "The Good Samaritan" bring it all together.


The Rev. John Wesley, an Anglican priest in England during the 1700s and one of the dominant figures in the Methodist movement, asserted that "Love of God and love of neighbor" was truly at the core of what the ministry of Jesus was all about.

The story of "The Good Samaritan" portrays how "love of God and love of neighbor" transcends our differences, knocks down the walls of division, and bridges the chasms of exclusion and brings healing and wholeness to the human family.

This summer, I am gaining fresh appreciation for and insight into the mission and ministry of Jesus as expressed in Luke. "Love of God with heart, soul, strength and mind and love of neighbor..." speaks to me every time I hear it, read it or think it.

Luke 10: 25-37 is the lectionary text for this Sunday. If taken to heart, I believe this passage from Luke has the power to transform our world and to bring people into a closer and more loving relationship with God and neighbor.

At the end of the Bible passage, Jesus summed up the themes of love, compassion, kindness and mercy with the admonition: "Go and do likewise." Jesus does not call us to create more differences, to deepen more schisms, to foster more hurt and judgment nor to create more brokenness.

But Jesus does call us "to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength and with all our mind and to love our neighbor as ourself."

It is a joy to share with you in mission and ministry.

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