Thursday, October 20, 2011

Love your neighbor

"The Christian path is a slow and often painful schooling under the tutelage of Christ, as we learn to welcome the nearness of one neighbor after another."
p. 34

Jesus said, "`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 22:27-40

"We belong to Jesus completely, in body as well as spirit, because he has become our neighbor through his own radical availability, even at the price of his own life: 'You were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body' (1 Corinthians 6:20). But if we belong to Jesus, then we also belong to one another: we cannot have Jesus as our neighbor without also having each other. The Christian task, then, is to find the appropriate ways to live out the fact that we do not belong to ourselves alone. The Christian life is shaped by this challenge and to address it is to devote oneself to the 'affairs of the Lord' (1 Corinthians 7:22)." p. 50

"Our availability to one another can be very frightening, even in the light of the gospel. But we find our help in Jesus, who is God’s yes to our nearness and its sanctification. We profess belief in a savior who drew near to us and suffered the abuses to which that nearness exposed him. The purpose of the Incarnation was not to rescue us from nearness or from the body, but to set our nearness right. Through the Incarnation the Word of God has become our neighbor. As our neighbor, Jesus reveals to us what nearness looks like when it is not corrupted by sin, and bestows on everyone who receives him the experience of a redeemed and justified nearness. We are encouraged by this experience to begin, not naively yet with hope, to embrace our nearness with one another." p. 31

Except for the passage from Matthew, the quotes are from Christian Households: The Sanctification of Nearness by Thomas Breidenthal (now Bishop of Southern Ohio)

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