The difference between living and loving is I

You’re not here to fly solo. God designed you to be part of a larger body, made up of other people. In the master plan of the universe, there are no stand-alone planets. You are part of God’s grand design.

In our last post, we talked about the Lord’s Prayer, and the fact that God never uses the first-person in that prayer. When he teaches us to pray, he tells us to speak in the plural, not the singular. Even though he tells us to pray in secret, our prayer involves the whole gang. Assuming Jesus knew what he was talking about, that’s a powerful statement about community; the “communion of saints.”

For some of us, this may seem to be a challenge. I’m one of those people who can get weary, almost frightened, of crowded rooms. Too many people, too much cocktail conversation and my brain goes into, “run and hide,” mode. My batteries have only so much social juice; I need my peace and quiet. To one degree or another, I suspect we are all like that. And God knows it too. Jesus often went away to quiet places to rest and pray. He told his disciples to do the same.

But resting is not the main part of living. We need sleep, but sleep is only one-third of our day. Living with others forms the remaining two-thirds. Life would not exist, literally, without us living in communion with others. At the most basic level, it takes two people getting so close to one another that nothing fits between them to create a human being. Human communion is the foundation of humanity. We are made to depend upon one another. Procreation demands it, but so does every other aspect of life, from growing food to finding shelter to learning to read. There is no such thing as the self-made man.

In that context, consider Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees who asked him which commandment is the most important. “First, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend upon these two commandments.”

And so do we.


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