Today’s Word from Deacon Amy…
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39
When Jesus was asked which of the commandments was the most important, he summed it up with this seemingly simple statement. Love God with everything that you are, and love your neighbor, too. God has given us the amazing gift of love – and it is our job to share that love. How simple is that?
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like we’re seeing a whole lot of love in our world today. Social media and news broadcasts are strewn with hateful words and vitriolic speech. It’s hard to see love past all of that.
A good friend recommended that I watch the series, “The Kindness Diaries” on Netflix (I see it’s also on Amazon Prime). I’m hooked! What an inspiring show. This is a documentary that follows Leon Logothetis on a journey that covers thousands of miles. The trick is – he has no money with him. To complete this incredible trek, he must rely purely on the kindness of strangers. We watched season two, where he traveled from Alaska to Chili in a vintage VW Beetle. All of his fuel, food, and lodging were provided by complete strangers. There were nights where he slept in his car, or on a beach, but most of the time he ate delicious hot meals in cozy homes with complete strangers.
Logothetis is, unknown to everyone that he meets on this journey, a millionaire. In each episode, he surprises one person who has helped him, with a gift. He has helped to pay for college educations, built expansions onto homes, fed children at orphanages, and supported those who rescue stray pets.
This show, to me, is all about love. Logothetis calls it kindness, but it is most definitely love. When somebody on this trip shows great love and kindness to a complete stranger, Logothetis asks them why they do it. Very frequently, the answer is that their faith directs them to be kind and to love others.
I love seeing people living out their faith in this way – God has asked us to love others, and these people are doing it. Sometimes in really big ways! Now, I’m not saying that the only kind and helpful people that he meets are people of faith; what I’m saying is that I love it when people of faith live out this Godly love!
Too often, we (myself included) claim to be Christians, but we forget to show it. I challenge you, friends, to live out God’s love! Leave the hateful, hurtful social media posts and comments alone, and show love instead! We don’t have to like or agree with everything that’s shared – but we have to love the person who shared it. This is what our God has called us to do.
In John 15:12, Jesus reminds us again, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Go out (or stay in) and love your neighbors!