Love Is All That Is Required
Owe no one anything, except to love on another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet;” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.
~ Romans 13:8-10
Paul says that love trumps all. His ultimate interest is not legal requirements, social conventions, or political expediencies. Paul focuses on the final result – the reconciliation of all things in the divine embrace…While observing the law may accomplish a certain end, love not only accomplishes that end but goes beyond it, anticipating the coming “day” of God in living out of relationships with brothers and sisters in the church and in the world.
~ Mary O. Benedict
For Jesus, the primary quality of a life centered in God is compassion. When Jesus sums up theology and ethics in a few words, he says: “Be compassionate as God is compassionate.” Where Paul uses the word “love,” Jesus uses the word “compassion.”…Thus growth in love, growth in compassion, is the primary quality of life in the Spirit.
~ Marcus Borg
Together we serve, united by love,
inviting God’s world to the glorious feast.
We work and we pray through sorrow and joy,
extending your love to the last and the least.
We seek to become a beacon of hope,
a lamp for the heart and a light for the feet.
We learn, year by year, to let love shine through
until we see Christ in each person we meet.
~ Daniel Charles Damon
Of all powers, love is the most powerful and the most powerless. It is the most powerful because it alone can conquer that final and most impregnable stronghold that is the human heart. It is the most powerless because it can do nothing except by consent.
~ Frederick Buechner
We must not so stress our relationship with God that we forget our relationship with one another. And we must not so stress our relationship with one another that we have no need to look to God for forgiveness. Reconciliation in volves both God and neighbors. Anyone committed to living a life of reconciliation must attend to the dynamics of love in relationship with God, others, self, and the world.
~ Richard M. Gula
Where charity and love prevail,
there God is ever found;
brought here together by Christ’s love,
by love are we thus bound.
~ 9th century, translated by Omer Westendorf
These reflections are for the week of September 6-12 and are based on the scriptures for worship on September 6..
Joyce D. Sohl, Laywoman-in-Residence
Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, a teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, quarterly retreats, and art exhibits.