I find myself living out the second greatest commandment given to us by Jesus in new ways. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. This gets fleshed out in many ways, but the most common way I find myself loving my neighbors these days is by wearing a mask. Mask wearing shows respect and care for others. I suffer discomfort to protect my community. I’m not first. I’m not the most important. When we all elevate the importance of others we follow the commands of Jesus to love our neighbor as ourselves and to consider others better than ourselves as stated in Phillippians 2:3:
Yes, I’ve been a faithful hand washer after I used the restroom and before I cooked a meal. Sunday mornings I always shook many hands and greeted many with hugs. In between services I used to tell my family I’m going to wash all the people off my hands before I’d sit down to Sunday lunch. I haven’t given much thought in the past about how my germs might affect another person unless I was entering a hospital room where I was required to suit up to protect a vulnerable patient. Today I’m loving my neighbors in such a simple way by wearing my mask.
If you’re not familiar with what Jesus called the greatest commandments, here they are for you to read:
Love God and love our neighbor. Sounds pretty simple right? The harsh reality is we are all sinful. We’re all broken and we seek to put ourselves first, especially when we step away from our faith. In these times I wonder if one of the best things we can do is just speak God’s Word to one another? Read the Bible and share it with others. It’s alive! It has the power to encourage, to correct, to heal, to soothe anxiety, to guide and direct. God is still the same. Let’s not allow social distancing to create a greater distance between us and God. It’s time to take initiative in our spiritual journeys with God. Yes, we need our church families, but remember, our relationship with God comes first. Pause, read and listen. God will whisper into your life. God loves you. Without these still and quiet moments with God times I’m not very good at loving my neighbor.