This Sunday we talked about laws and law. There is something fundamentally human about the need to make laws or rules and something equally fundamentally human about trying to circumvent those laws or rules. I wonder if this second tendency is the source of Paul’s observation in Romans 5:20 “But law came in, with the result that the trespass multiplied; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” (NRSV).
What I wanted us to think about today is the notion that we only have one law now. Jesus said it and Paul said it in today’s Epistle reading “For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14 NRSV) Not that this is easy, because it isn’t, it is in fact much harder. Almost all of us find it easier to follow a list of rules, to have a check box for our behaviour, “I was patient with that person, as I’m supposed to be, I’m going to check my ‘patient’ box.” The requirement to love each other as ourselves means that we often have to be patient but not to check a box but rather to be loving to that other person. The requirement to love each other as ourselves meas that we have to assess each situation and determine, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, what is the most loving thing to do for this particular situation.
Knox Presbyterian No more laws
St. Mark’s Presbyterian No more laws