Sunday, August 14, 2011

Living today

Benjamin Wells, MU United Methodist Campus Pastor, preached at our church this morning.  His scripture was the parable of the Good Samaritan.  It was a great sermon.  The first thing that caught my ear was this.  First, read this passage:
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
  Luke 10:25-28
Benjamin told us that when the listeners heard the first sentence, their reaction would have been different than ours.  When we read it, we think of heaven -- eternal life.  We hear Jesus saying that if we follow the law, we will receive eternal life  Those listening to the parable wouldn't have heard "eternal life" as life in heaven.  They would have heard, "How do I live in harmony with God, today?"  That changes how we hear the rest of the parable.  Love God, love each other, and life today in harmony with God.

To me, that fits our faith much better.

I think we believe that the kingdom of God begins now, today, here.  Yes, we live forever with God, in heaven, by his grace.  Today, we live in his kingdom, and if we love God, and love each other, with all that we have, we will live in harmony with God.  We will know his kingdom, now, here, today.

If we do that, we will live!

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