Love in action
From the Pastor's Desk
February 2, 2019
Greetings! It's February, a month associated with love and valentines. My Jewish friend and colleague, Rabbi Cheryl Rosenstein, was discussing love with me recently. Judaism and Christianity overlap on many things, but love is sometimes perceived differently. We all agree that we are to love God and love one another, but how do we do that?
In the Torah, there are three commands to love: "love your neighbor as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18); "love the stranger as yourself" (Leviticus 19:34); and "You shall love the Lord your God for all your heart, soul and strength" (Deuteronomy 6:4).
Love, love, love...who doesn't love love? Yet, what does love mean? Many Christians tend to think of love as a feeling. Can I make myself love someone? How do I create an emotion I might not really feel?
Judaism doesn't imply that we are required to feel love for someone. The command to love is an action, not an emotion or a warm gushy feeling. The mitzvot to love is to perform acts that show care, concern and bring about justice for others. Judaism's laws are meant to help guide people in ways that they can show care, concern and justice. Jesus knew this. He quoted Torah when he said, "love thy neighbor as thyself."
A Christian minister, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. understood Jesus and the Jewish interpretation of love. He spoke about "The Beloved Community," an ideal that many of us long for. The beloved community doesn't come about by simply feeling love for one another. King spelled out that it is the aftermath, the outcome, of practicing justice, care and concern for others.
Imagine if this month we did a few more good deeds to show our care and concern. Imagine us showing up and simply listening to others or standing with them in their struggles. Let this be a month for love in action.
About Tehachapi Community Church, UCC:
No matter who you are, no matter where you are on life's journey, you're welcome here!
The Tehachapi Community Church, UCC is an open and welcoming community of faith that believes that each person, created in the image of God, holds a piece of the truth. Therefore we respect each person's unique spiritual journey. We invite you to experience the difference that religious freedom in a caring community can make in that journey.
We are located at 100 East E St., in Tehachapi. Worship and Sunday School are at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. Please join us for coffee and fellowship at our Friendship Hall after worship (approximately 11:30 a.m.).
All are welcome.