Today in church we learned about love. Specifically, we discussed Matthew 22:36-39. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
Pastor Gerd today called this a boring text. It was an interesting take on a well-known passage. The Pastor doesn't find it exciting - it's not action packed enough.
What the Pastor said today is true. This passage is not action packed. And we live in a world that is constantly stimulating our senses. I took my kids to see Zootopia yesterday, and the previews alone were action packed enough to overstimulate my kids for the rest of the day. Explosions, violent storms, extreme emotions, superheroes saving the day -- all showcased in the eight minutes before our Family Friendly movie started. So I can see how a passage like this one might come across as boring. Love God? Love your neighbor? How boring is that? Where are the explosions? Where are the violent storms or the extreme emotions in this passage? What about the superheroes?
I would argue that loving is a difficult act. One that takes hard work, dedication and patience. Loving God can be difficult sometimes, and a it's a tricky proposition if you have doubts (like many of us do). How can I love a God who lets <insert horrible life event here> happen? How do I love a "neighbor" who is <insert terrible, no good, horrible behavior here>? The Bible tells us to try. That these are the greatest commandments. God calls us to love everyone, even a God we might not trust all the time and our neighbor who we seriously can't stand sometimes.
I would argue that trying to love God all the time and love your neighbor all of the time is a near impossible task. At least for me. I see an explosion on TV, and it makes me question. I see violent storms in the weather forecast and I wonder why it is happening. I see extreme emotions play out through local, national and international events and I don't want to love my "neighbor," because my "neighbor" seems like a horrible person. You want superheroes? I think that a superhero is someone who can love God and their neighbor all the time, even in light of what's going on around them.
I want to be a superhero for my kids. I want to be a superhero for my God. I want to be a superhero for my neighbor. And being a superhero? And if being a superhero in this context is loving God and your neighbor, then that's definitely not boring. Hard work? Yes. Requiring dedication? Yes. Requiring patience? Yes. But boring? Nope, I don't think so.