God is love - a Lenten series 28 Love does what is before it

Luke 9:61 Then another said, “I’m ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home.”
 62 Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.”
source: Prose and Poetry blog

As I look at all these facets of love I get overwhelmed with how much God's love does. I find myself making mental checklists of all the things I have to do to love like Christ loves. Pondering on this topic can be overwhelming, so much so it crowds out the actual work of loving my neighbor. In this moment, right now, my neighbor is not destitute, but a lab partner who depends on me providing high quality work and keeping the lab clean. Last night it was helping an excessively intoxicated homeless person get a safe and warm place to sleep for the night at the homeless shelter I volunteer at. Sometimes I put myself out there. Sometimes out there comes to me. It means nothing to love humanity and not love the actual humans next to me.

I found this morning's devotional from the Center for Action and Contemplation on the theological approach of the Franciscan Duns Scotus very helpful.

And, just like Jesus, Duns Scotus holds that precious, irreplaceable “one” fully inside a “commonwealth” or community, the Body of Christ. Duns Scotus does not teach individualism but incarnation. The universal incarnation always shows itself in the specific, the concrete, and the particular—refusing to be an abstraction. Poet Christian Wiman puts it this way: “If nature abhors a vacuum, Christ abhors a vagueness. If God is love, Christ is love for this one person, this one place, this one time-bound and time-ravaged self.”

If I plow and look all around except for what is right in front of me, I'm missing the kingdom of love.


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