Going to church generated a column a couple of weeks ago, and today it did so again.
While listening to, and thinking about, the gospel reading (Mark 12:28-34), I found myself thinking about Election Day 2018.
‘One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”’
Did you ever consider that the second part is harder than the first?
I mean, we can love God, fear God, appreciate the goodness of God, on our worst days.
Loving your neighbor as you love yourself is trickier. He’s…different. He’s voting for the other guy. He argues. Taunts, even. I gotta love him?!?
Here’s where the election comes in.
Whatever happens to your candidate or party on Tuesday, or in the hours and days after…you have to love the kids who live next door with the Beto sign in the yard.
You have to love the woman at work who supports the president you…cannot…stand.
If they win and you lose, you gotta love ’em.
If you win and they lose, you gotta love ’em.
No matter who’s obnoxious or ungracious or arrogant or crazy.
Not just “neighbors” in the immediate neighborhood sense either.
So, the “challenge” after Tuesday night, unless you’re a losing candidate challenging some ballots or a close result, is honoring that “first of all the commandments”.
Like a lot of things in Scripture, it ain’t easy, but it is clear.