Feb 28, 2012

What are we called to do?

The second month of 2012 has come and gone. Still no referral. We still don't know if we will be adding a boy or a girl or a set of siblings to our family. I can't even remember now if I had posted or not about our parameter changes back in October. It was time to update our homestudy after a year of waiting. We had been praying for several months about opening up to any possibility that God might have for our family. In late August we made the decision.
Our current parameters are 0-24months boy, girl, or up to two siblings.  How exciting, not knowing!
We continue to pray each day for our child(ren). We ask that you too might join with us in prayer.

I wanted to share with you something that I spend most of my time thinking and talking about these days.

In Luke Chapter 10 it is written:
 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"  "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"  He answered: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself."  "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."  But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.  A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.  So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. "Look after him," he said, "and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have." "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

The first part of this scripture is something I think most believers expect to hear. I think that the man of the law expected it as well. That Jesus would say that we are to love God. He goes a step farther though and says that we are to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind.  Essentially every bit of our being should be wrapped up and focused on our love of God. Point blank. There is nothing left. The only possible extra we could have is overflow of what He has added to us.

He doesn't stop there. He continues to say that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. This leaves the man of law asking more questions.
When first reading this I was brought to some of questions of my own.  If Christ says that I am to love my neighbor as myself , who is my neighbor?
As we read through the scripture Christ demonstrates that anyone who could receive an act of kindness is our neighbor. Not simply the people on our block or even those that live in the same town, but anyone and everyone that we are given an opportunity to show kindness too. Including those of different backgrounds, races, religions, or cultures.  Possibly anyone on the planet could be our neighbor. 
He also stated that we are called to love them as ourselves. So how do I love myself? What things do I do for myself that demonstrates my own self love? I guess for me it is easier to look at the things I wouldn't allow because I do care for myself. I know I don't allow myself to go hungry, I don't allow myself to live on the street, I wouldn't sit idly by if my children were in need, I wouldn't allow myself to knowingly walk into a dangerous situation, I wouldn't want for myself to be hurt by the words of another, and I wouldn't want to live life alone. These are just a few. So if I believe what Jesus is teaching here is truth, why do I or do we as believers obey part of what he has commanded and why do many of us continue to forget the second half?

I often say and proclaim that all that I have been given or blessed with is God's but more often than not that is not how I live. I strive but fall short. He has blessed me and my family with much and it should all be for the taking and using for his kingdom. My neighbors should not be in need if I am in excess.

A quick pic at the end of our date night on Sunday in STL. The next day we had an appointment to get our fingerprints redone.