Broccoli and brussels sprouts

EvaLyn Carlson

Just like eating our vegetables, we don’t always like interacting with some people or our “stomachs” don’t get along with them. Mothers tell us we must eat our peas and carrots and Jesus says that we must love our neighbors as ourselves.

This is not necessarily a “feel good’ commandment.” Those Ten Commandments, ok, they make sense to me, but loving someone who does wrong towards others or to me? Loving someone I just can’t stand to be around? Come on, Jesus, what were you thinking?

But that scripture in Matthew says it pretty plainly: The first commandment is “to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; and then to love neighbor as yourself.”

Maybe if we love God with everything we have in us, we might just begin to realize that everyone— yup, you heard me right— everyone is a creation of God. And if God created them just like we were created, then they are loved just as much as we are.

Haven’t we heard that God forgives us when we do wrong? Then why should we do anything less than forgive those who have treated us badly or whom we see in a different light. Easy? Not always, but hey, Jesus doesn’t say we have to like them, just love them.

So I wonder what would happen if we just step out beyond our comfort zone this week and do who is right. Love someone that is hard to love, or try to right a wrong in the world. It might be something like eating brussels sprouts, but just hold your nose and take a big bite!

Just pondering.

Each month a member of the Cook County Ministerium will offer Spiritual Reflections. This week our contributor is Pastor EvaLyn Carlson of the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ.

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