I am currently reading through the Gospel of Matthew and reflecting on many of the events that are chronicled by its author. I watched the news on Sunday and Monday as many demonstrations surrounding George Floyd turned from peaceful marches to violent protests. I began reading Matthew 22. The Scripture I have been praying over are verses 34-40. I share them with you from the NRSV:
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
These words speak more to these times than anything I can offer. In the Lukan version of the Great Commandment, an expert in the law has a conversation with Jesus. Jesus’ answer is the Parable of the Good Samaritan. I invite you to read and reflect on both of these passages over the coming days.
We are struggling as a nation to hear one another and be heard. May we find ways to love our neighbors. I ask you to pray for George Floyd’s family as another African American male has died in this way. I also ask you to pray for those who have taken an oath to protect and serve. And Amen.