Good morning on this last Friday of 2013. Yes, the year is coming to a close once more. New calendars are needed soon, but what has changed? We have a tendency to think that a new calendar will make a new life. Then, we are disappointed when we fall back into the same old habits. When will I learn to love me as I love my neighbors? I don't get up in a new year expecting my neighbors to be totally changed by their own effort. Why then do I look to a new year to become SuperChangedMan, hero of his own making, champion of the concentrated self-effort, and glorifier of his personal grace?
Some of us must learn to love our neighbors as well as or as much as we love ourselves. But, there are also those of us who need to learn to love ourselves as we are loving our neighbors. Both me and my neighbor are beloved creations of God. Our Lord does not put His love out in unequal shares. Else one would get an imperfect love and another the full-blown perfect love we know our Father dispenses at His good pleasure. Jesus died for all sinners. God is not willing that any should perish. I do not believe that God can love me only a little bit, or that He can love my neighbor a whole lot more than me.
Circumstances are not a measure of God's love but a part of this fallen world. That person somewhere in the world whom all would vote as the most deprived and afflicted in circumstance is not less loved by our Father than me. The person wallowing in wealth beyond a man's ability to spend is not more loved by God than you or I. Our circumstances will differ, but God's love is poured out in full perfection on each of us. The Word tells us that God causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. The tests we endure do not show God loving us less. Actually, the test we face this day shows me and you that God is paying close attention to our improvement. That our Lord wants to make us more like His Son is love.
Face the new year by loving the one God loves.Bucky