Saturday, April 30, 2011
One Moral Imperative
Somewhere in the middle of our time together we drifted into a theological conversation about issues within the church and our culture as a whole. Then this statement was made across the table and stopped us both in our tracks as we considered its implications.
"There really is only one moral imperative after all."
Without saying another word, both of us understood what was meant. Nothing else was said. Nothing else was needed.
Concerning this moral imperative, the author of 1 John wrote, "Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love" (1 John 4:7-8).
The Apostle Paul echoed, "And I will show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends" (1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8).
And it was reflected in Jesus' actions and words over and over again.
However, somewhere along the way, we have allowed the moral imperative of love to get crowded out by our favorite list of do's and don'ts, smothered by our pet projects and damped by our preferred soapbox. I admit that I find it is much easier to fall into these old, familiar and comfortable habits than to be reminded of the covenant of love I am called to live into each and every day.
As much as we would like to dismiss this conversation as tired and cliche, when we really consider its implications, it should stop us all in our tracks.
What would our church, our world, our lives look like if we allowed ourselves to remember our one true moral imperative and lived our lives as if it were true?
Would enjoy hearing your thoughts...