Exercising our Love

April 15, 2017

Scripture Reading: Matthew 28:1-10

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. –Matthew 28:1-6

Matthew 27:54 reports an earthquake occurring while Jesus hung on the cross. Perhaps the resurrection quake was an aftershock. To say the least, the world order was turned upside-down by the events of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, or was it turned right-side up?  As I write this I have an ice pack on my thigh nursing a sore muscle recently challenged in a physical therapy session. There are right ways and wrong ways to use muscles and if we do not use them, they weaken. The world is like that too. There is a right way, a just way to interact with one another and there are destructive ways. If we do not routinely practice the right ways, justice weakens.

Amos talks about this very issue. In chapters one and two, he castigates the neighboring nations of Israel for some horrible behavior assuring Israel that God would hold those nations accountable. When he gets to Judah, he takes a totally different approach saying (emphasis added)
Thus says the Lord:
For three transgressions of Judah,
   and for four, I will not revoke the punishment;
because they have rejected the law of the Lord,
   and have not kept his statutes,
but they have been led astray by the same lies
   after which their ancestors walked.
So I will send a fire on Judah,
   and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem. (Amos 2:4-5)

Amos calls them to task for failure to live the way God called them to live. Evil is evil in any circumstance, but evil practiced by God’s people is an affront to God. There has been a lot of that going on lately.

We serve a risen Savior who gave his life to turn the world right-side up an enlisted our help in making it stay that way. If we truly love him, we must invest our whole beings in answering that call.

Prayer: Lord strengthen our love making us conduits of your love bringing  justice to our world today. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the new Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.