Simplistic Complexity

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The text for this week’s sermon is Jesus’ response to the question “What is the greatest commandment?” Jesus’ response was, “ 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 commandment and the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40)

These words are very simple to understand on the one hand. In the Christian faith, even the youngest of us would have an opinion on our understanding of Jesus' teaching on the “Great Commandment.” On the other hand, the scripture does not offer any more complex words than these. It is my strong belief that one of the reasons Jesus gathers us to be the church together in worship is that we cannot fully come to an understanding of this teaching on our own.

One of the skills of being a faithful follower of Jesus is the cultivation of the awareness that we do not, on our own, know what love is or who our neighbors are. These words await definition. Therefore, we must get up, get dressed, and gather at Saint Rock Canyon High (or wherever it is you choose to assemble), on an inconvenient day and hour of the week, to learn just what these seemingly obvious words mean when used by Jesus, Son of David, Son of God.

Christian love does not come naturally. It is not universally shared, nor is it a common sense sort of thing. Love in the name of Jesus can be had only by being taught and empowered by Jesus.

What do poets do with words? I once heard a poet define her craft as “the art of making complicated life matters so simple that for the first time we understand them and making simple matters so complicated that we abandon forever the attempt to understand them.”  Seems like that might also be in some portion the purpose of preaching?

May you have a great week. Know that God loves you, so that you might love your neighbor. May you live faithfully in the simplistic complexity of this promised command.

Still in One Peace,

Pastor David J. Jensen

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Lisa Jager wrote:
I miss your sermons Pastor Dave! I hope to see you this Sunday!

Fri, October 21, 2011 @ 12:20 PM

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