Devotional Reading from Daily Common Lectionary: Matthew 22:34-46
Text: “Which commandment in the law is the greatest commandment? (v. 36)
When Jesus was asked what is the most important thing to do in life, He gave a twofold answer; love God enough not to place Him at the center of your life, and love others . It seems that you cannot do the former without the latter. If there is enmity between you and another you are also separated from God.
In Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol Scrooge began to rediscover himself, his true self, as he began to see a reflection of the Holy in the people and lives of others. Like the Grinch who tried to steal Christmas, his heart and his world had grown small.
Selfishness is a subtle thing. It is also a comfortable because we find ourselves no longer challenged. What we don’t realize is that selfishness is really an atrophying of the soul.
Our American culture encourages a certain smallness of spirit with its increasing Balkanization resulting in the loss of a sense of a greater community and the Common Good”. We begin to believe that the Common Good is synonymous with “my good.”
But when we take the effort to see the reflection of the Holy in our neighbor we find ourselves suddenly changing. We are growing.
During this season of Advent I’ve taken up a simple spiritual exercise. I’ve taken to wishing everyone a Merry Christmas for the message of Christmas is really a message of God’s Love breaking into the dark corners of the world. It is about a Love so great that God came into this world not to condemn it, but to save it. (John 3:17). That message is a glimpse of grace.
Lord, let the of scales that blind me fall from my eyes. Remove the barnacles of Life’s experiences which hinder me, fall from my being. Amen.