The Two Greatest Commandments

Years ago, I was listening to a pastor preach a message on the two greatest commandments. In Matthew 22, Jesus is being asked by the religious leaders of the day, “Which is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus replied, “’Love the Lord your God will 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.’” (v.35-39) The pastor then went on the say that as Jesus-followers, “We show our love for an invisible God, by loving a visible neighbor.” Go back and re-read that sentence again, because that is a powerful truth that can be directly applied to our current circumstances with COVID-19.

If you have watched the news at all you know and understand that people in America are freaking out and beginning to overstock on cleaning items, food, and especially toilet paper. Social distancing is causing people to fear others and show less love to those around them. In almost all of these cases, people are looking out for themselves and their family, but Jesus said, in the same way you would take care of yourself, take care of those around you. I know that we want to be wise, we want to be diligent, we want to be careful in coming into contact with those who are most susceptible to contracting this virus, but that does not mean we should stop showing our love for God by not serving our neighbors.

People in your neighborhood are in need right now and God has placed you there for just a time as this to meet that need. Is there a family that doesn’t have food? Feed them if you can! Is there a baby who doesn’t have diapers? Do you have some to share? Are there families that can’t find childcare so they can go to work? Then maybe you’re a stay-at-home parent who could watch their child for them! Are there elderly individuals in your community who are too afraid to go out? Why don’t you let yourself be the one who knocks on their door to say, “If you need anything, I am here to serve you.” Don’t expect anything in return, just love people and if they ask you why simply say, “Because I love Jesus and I love you.” Your neighbors need you in a time like this! Remember newhope, we show our love for an invisible God by loving a visible neighbor.

Being the church may look different in the way we’re meeting, but it can (in all the best of ways) look different, and better, in the way we’re loving our neighbors. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to join us live tomorrow where all of our campuses will be gathering online in their Campus Facebook Groups to worship together and lean into our new series, Faith Over Fear. It will be a great time to connect (safely) and encourage each other in live chat. We’ll see you online!

Cam Pape
Global Student Ministry Pastor

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