Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Love Fulfills the Law
“Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law”.
In today’s passage, Paul talks about one continuing debt that can never be repaid and that is to love one another. We are indebted to others through God’s love which was expressed through the sacrifice of His only son. This love is eternal as evidenced by Christ conquering death. For that reason, God’s love is never ending and eternal and we are forever indebted. Christ died for everyone. He died for the sinners. This is a difficult concept for many of us as it is hard to love those who do us wrong. Christ died for us, yet how many times do we sin against him? How many times do we choose others before Him? God gave His only son to die for our sins so that we may be saved. Yet is he foremost in our decisions and desires? This example of unselfish love is our model on how we should love others.
At the time of Christ, the Jews were consumed by following the law. The Old Testament is filled with daily rules on how Jews were to conduct themselves. Whether it is on what could not be eaten or what could not be done on the Sabbath, the Old Testament is filled with rules on how Jews were to conduct themselves. Similarly, the Ten Commandments identify things that one should not do. Rather than negating what was taught in the Old Testament, Paul reiterates what Jesus said in Matthew 22:39 in that there is another way to look at that same law. Loving your neighbor as oneself is a simple but powerful message. It is open-ended and encompasses many things. There are no conditions on this statement. The message is the same even if your neighbor is not your friend, of a different religion, or ethnicity.
Christ died to reestablish the relationship between God and man that was lost in the Garden of Eden. In addition, He taught us how we should treat others. If the relationship between God and man is symbolized by a vertical line and we intersect it with a horizontal line that represents our relationship with fellow beings, the product is a cross. Let’s also remember that the intersection represents Christ himself, who died on that cross to reconcile both of those relationships for us. He is the only answer and the only way to the Father. It is through His sacrifice that he taught us how to love our neighbor. It is the cross that is the symbol of this love.
Prayer: Father, we thank you for sending Your only son to die for us because You loved us so much and wanted to reestablish a relationship with us. Let us learn from Your example and love our neighbors, all of them, with no excuses.
Thought for the day: Cross is the symbol of love
Tom Philip, St peter’s MTC, NJ