Monday of the First Week of Lent
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your fellow countrymen. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Leviticus 19, 18
We’re all too familiar with the ten commandments. But we rarely read them with a full understanding for our 21st Century. While these are useful rules, the parameters have shifted as has the understanding. The commandment above from Leviticus were written about 500 B.C.E. That’s roughly 2,600 years ago. In Jesus life, he updated them with his “but I say….” revisions.
In that time, one’s “countrymen” and “neighbors” were locals in the village or area. Today, thanks to social media and the Internet, our neighbors, or countrymen, are often all over the world.
But I say…..think about how often you see a snide comment or a harsh criticism vented in a public sphere, whether Facebook or the newspapers? How often do we see a driver cutting someone off in traffic in our own neighborhoods? Or not stopping at a stop sign and putting someone in danger or rushing into a parking place when someone else is waiting for it?
Do you ever think of that as a grudge? Do you ever consider, when you are impatient or in a hurry, that you are breaking a commandment about the way to treat a countryman or a neighbor?
It’s easy to get all bent out of shape about the big commandments; how much harder to notice when we are breaking the ones we don’t talk about so much.
Whenever you have done this to the least of my people, you have done that to me, Jesus said.
Consider how the world might be different if we were really to take the message of Jesus seriously and treat each other with respect. Think how you could change the world today with one small act of loving kindness toward your neighbor.