When it was evening, the disciples approached [Jesus] and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” Matthew 14:15
Nothing can separate me from the love of God except my own refusal to love my neighbor as myself. Immigrants, refugees, the homeless, the ill, the elderly, those who don’t look like me or act like me or speak like me—we are all God’s precious children, worthy of love and respect and the best life has to offer.
Dismissing others is not the way of Jesus.
Amen. And try, try again. 🙂 Sometimes I actually stop and think: Love!
It’s the remembering to stop and think that challenges me…
I have thought a lot about his post, since I read it. “Except my own refusal to love my neighbor as myself.” Do you think that even that can “separate us from God’s love?” Please do not get the wrong impression here, as I am not arguing with it, it is truly something that I have contemplated on and will try and explain a little.
To me, God is so full of mercy and compassion, that nothing I do can ever separate me from His love. Now He may get angry with me, and His justice demands much on all of us. The separation from His love I cannot fathom. It is just something I have pondered ever since reading, and would love to hear your thoughts. Maybe I misunderstood what you were saying?? Thanks and God Bless, SR
Hi, SR –
Thank you for your thoughtful insights. God’s love is indeed boundless and unchanging. I was thinking of Paul’s letter to the Romans where he says:
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor present things, nor future things,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other creature will be able to separate us
from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 38-39)
Paul lists entities outside of us that cannot interfere with, or separate us from, God’s love for us. But when I act or speak or behave without love, even unconsciously, for that moment in time, I have separated myself from the Community of Love. I am not suggesting that I am lost or condemned, but I am out of harmony with God’s vision of Love.
It is something like Jesus’ thoughts on what makes us impure:
Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” (Matthew 15:10-11)
I find that words can be imperfect tools with which to express our knowing of God; that use of the word “except” is one such example.
Gotcha! I understand now what you were saying and thank you so much for taking the time to explain to me what you were meaning. I do agree with you about “words being an imperfect tool.” Hey what else do we have? 🙂 God Bless and hope you are feeling well. SR
I enjoy the dialogue, SR. Thanks for helping me do some more God-pondering.