9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;
10 Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.
11 Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.
“Outdo one another in showing honor.” Can you imagine what the world would look like this morning if we all lived according to that suggestion? Indeed, if all of these suggestions were taken to heart, the world this morning would be a very different place.
I woke up to dueling accusations on the news. Some voices are saying “The riots are all being caused by outside agitators from the far Left,” while others are saying “The riots are being caused by outside agitators from the far Right.” I am certain that there are people from outside of Minneapolis who have gone to join in the demonstrations. I can easily believe that some of those are intent on causing harm. I strongly suspect some of those “outside agitators” come from all ends of the political and ideological spectrum, each with their own agenda.
“Let love be genuine; hate what is evil; hold fast to what is good.” If we lived by these words, there would be no racism, because racism is evil. Good people do hate racism, and ageism, and sexism, and heterosexism, and ableism, and all the other isms. But we seem to lag in zeal, for we are not working at dismantling the system that created these, and that exists solely to protect the status quo.
What if today everyone worked at outdoing one another to show each other honor? What if today everyone said only those things that one says to and about a person for whom they feel affection?
What if today, we are zealous about our love for God and for all of God’s creatures, and serving the common good as a way of serving the Lord?
What a wonderful world it would be.
Loving God, teach us to love. Help us to see what it truly means to love one another, so that we may better serve you. Amen