No other greater commandment

In the highly charged political environment of Michigan (and in the United States), I find truth and peace for everyone still stems from the New Testament.  

Some people hate others who do not match in skin color.  Other hate those who wave rainbow flags.  Women have the “option” to purchase insurance in order to protect their private parts from “invasion”.  

Even Michigan’s governor does not seem to know side is the popular side to be on, or perhaps that is just because it is an election year?

Some people hate unions for trying to establish fair and equal treatment in the workplace for reasonable hours and fair wages.  Many who are underemployed or unemployed feel that no one should have more than they lack.  Others spout religious mantra in coffee shops, airports, or using electronic media.  I guess I too am guilty of this in my own blog…

In contrast to all of this hatred and elitism is my new hero, Pope Francis.

Pope Francis established a new idea; one which should not be new at all.  We shall not judge.  That is for God and Jesus alone to do.  

America is supposed to be the land of equality and freedom.  

America has been through some nasty times in our history:  from killing Native Americans to burning crosses, from turning away ships filled with castaway Jews to protesting war at the grave sites of our soldiers.  I know that marriage equality for those who are gay seems to be the new “sore” spot. 

It just so happens that my daily devotion stemmed from the gospel according to Mark (Mk. 12. 28-34) where Jesus praises a scribe for understanding.  Jesus questioned a scribe about which commandments were the most important.  The answer:  “To love him [God] with all our thoughts and with all our strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves is worth more than any burnt offering or sacrifice”.

What if we all practiced loving our neighbors instead of “burning” them up in words or condemning them?  If my neighbor is all the colors of the rainbow, he is still my neighbor.  If my neighbor uses a gun for protection, she is still my neighbor.  I don’t think God wants us to allow neighbors to take advantage or to hurt us, but if we focus far MORE on love and acceptance (instead of how our neighbors are “different”), perhaps we will be one step closer to God and to what America is supposed to be?


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