Living What We Say We Believe (Matthew 23:1-12)
As the author of 1 John so eloquently points out, “Those who say, ‘I love God,’ and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen cannot love God whom they have not seen” (4:20).
In other words, the very way we demonstrate love for God is by loving our neighbor. We reveal our beliefs as genuine not just by proclaiming them publicly, or by believing them really, really deeply in our own heart, but by pursuing a world in which all those whom God loves can flourish in the justice and peace God intends for everyone.
And to put an even finer point on it, loving those whom God loves, means more than feeling properly disposed toward them. Loving the neighbor means having our hands dirtied, our knees callused, and our backs bent in trying to see that everyone has enough to eat, a place to sleep, adequate healthcare, a world in which to be safe as they pursue their projects and goals with the ones whom they love.