Well Flamethrower Mommy is back with a vengeance! After only a few weeks, her Mother’s Day honors of being “The BEST Christian Mother Of The Year” were taken from her. Although we are unsure why, we do know that she has totally missed the message behind today’s announced sermon: “The Importance Of Understanding Life’s Transient Rewards.” Well, perhaps she does understand them…just incorrectly!
I think it’s fair to say that Margie will not be storing up any treasures in Heaven anytime soon! (Matthew 6:19-21) But this comic strip isn’t about the real Bible message Margie is not learning; it’s about the unreal Bible message Caleb Joseph is learning.
So what do you think? Have you ever had a difficult time figuring out the rules? Does it ever seem like the rules just don’t seem to fit together into a cohesive whole?
Keep your handkerchief clean at all times, but don’t wipe your nose on your shirt sleeve. Act like a boy, but don’t make a lot of noise. Care about other people, but don’t let them take advantage of you. Think independently using good decision-making skills but consult your supervisor before making any changes. Set a good example for others to follow, but allow people to be who they are. I could go on and on. This gets so confusing to me, maybe to you too?
I love Jesus, and here’s one simple reason why. He gives me two rules to summarize the Bible’s commandments, and they fit together perfectly. There is no contradiction…at least not that I’m able to find!
He said to him, “‘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.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40 (NRSV)
I know we have heard and proclaimed these verses as truth so many times, and I am concerned that people will just yawn and move on. But really, I am unable to find a way in which following Christ would cause a contradiction in these two rules: love God with all you have and love your neighbor as yourself.
But there are some who try to alter these into being contradictory…and sometimes even within our Christian faith.
Some teach that to love God, you must kill those who do not believe as you do. So you love God by killing your neighbor.
Some teach that to love your neighbor, you must treat all beliefs and faith traditions as valid. So you love your neighbor by killing God.
Don’t you love the simple brilliance found in the words of Christ? Love God with all you have and love your neighbor as yourself. You can’t have one without the other. (Wait…I know there’s a song in there somewhere…but what is it?!?)
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