Today’s reading is Paul’s laundry list to the Romans of what one must do to truly practice love. Sometimes I get so taken with myself when I do some act of kindness. This morning, I let someone pull in front of me on my way to work. Woo-who! Let’s have a party! In my head, I’m so proud of myself. I think “See? I am a good person!” Today’s reading put’s that all into perspective for me.
Our biggest example of love is the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Whenever I think of that, I can’t help but be reminded of the movie “The Passion of the Christ” as Jesus walked to his own crucifixion. Even now, I can barely type as I remember how he was so violently scourged, then forced to walk that long, way up the hill, through the streets of shouting people – people who just 2 days before welcomed him and who now had turned against him. His few friends huddled in the back of the crowds, trying not to be seen, giving him no comfort or support. How could I ever love like that? How could I think that my very small efforts at acting in love could ever be enough?
It’s supposed to be hard because the reward is so huge. You think of investments – the more risk you take, the more return you will make. I don’t mean to be sacrilegious and say that investing money is like giving love, but the analogy is not far off. The reward is eternal life in heaven. Wow! What is that worth? How much are we willing to risk to obtain that return? It is certainly worth more than letting someone come into your lane during your morning commute.
It is my prayer today that all of us, especially me, take bolder steps towards practicing the kind of love that Christ exemplified.