Acts 17:22-31, Psalm 66: 8-20, 1 Peter 3: 13-22, John 14:15-21
Today’s lectionary readings have several interesting passages. We could have looked at the promise of the Holy Spirit or Paul revealing the unknown god to the Athenians.
However, the phrase that caught my attention was “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” A very simple, yet very strong statement. Love has an outworking and that is keeping the commandments as interpreted by Jesus . . . Love God, Love neighbour.
It is the second of this couplet that I want to talk about. How do we love our neighbour?
As I pondered this another familiar phrase kept running through my mind. Well-known by all who have worked or do work within the medical field
“Primum non nocere” First, do no harm.
Love neighbour . . . First, do no harm
As I was thinking about these two statements they seemed to become connected and interwoven. If I love my neighbour I will first do no harm.
In the global climate we live in this has far-reaching implications. Our neighbour is no longer the person next-door or even someone living within the same village. Our neighbour is the whole of humankind. In the last few years we have seen how something that does harm in one part of the world effects another part.
Of course, individually we can’t do everything. We can’t help everyone. We can’t support every charity. We can’t be advocates for every cause.
But we can all do something!
Personally, loving neighbour/seeking to do no harm has led me in a number of directions . . .
Advocacy for women’s rights
Supporting and welcoming gay and lesbian friends
Fostering children who have been neglected and abused
Vegetarianism . . . unspeakable harm is done to our animal friends
Trying to be careful of the planet by using all non-harmful products, recycling and composting.
Each person’s journey of how to love neighbour will be different. These are our callings, our vocations In Lindisfarne we can support each other as we seek to walk our own paths of loving neighbour/doing no harm.
Perhaps some may want to share their journey as they seek to love neighbour/do no harm.