as A rule

12th Sunday after Pentecost
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Proper 18
for Sunday, September 4, 2011
lectionary focus: Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 18:15-20

Happy Labor Day Weekend! Tomorrow is a holiday where we celebrate the Working People in our community. And since everyone works, it is a commemoration for everyone. But what work do all these people do? Some are teachers, some are shopkeepers, some are bankers, some are doctors, some are preachers, some are farmers, some are builders…why, the list goes on and on. And what is your work? You are all students! That is your work.

One thing that I have noticed is that every job has rules. Have you noticed that you have lots of rules to follow at school? I bet your teachers have rules for the classroom and the hallway and the lunchroom and the playground…everywhere you go there are rules. Why do we have all of these rules?

Well, I like to think of them more as guidelines. They are reminders. Because when it all boils down, we only have one rule in this world. All the other rules are summed in these words from Christ: Love your neighbor as yourself.

But wait a minute? If there is only one rule, why do we have all of these guidelines?
The guidelines help us know how to love our neighbors.
Huh?
When we are waiting our turn, what are we really doing? We are loving our neighbor. When we listen and not interrupt, what are we really doing? We are loving our neighbor. When we pick up trash, we are loving our neighbor. When we stop at stop signs, we are loving our neighbor. When we share, we are loving our neighbor.

In our Bible story today, Jesus talks about people working in the community, about following the rules, because love does no wrong to a neighbor. It takes all sorts of people to make a community–to make a school, to make a church, to make a family. And our guidelines help us remember the one rule that makes community possible: Love your neighbor as yourself. As we go forth to celebrate our work, remember that God calls us to work together, to live together, to love together.

Go forth and enjoy!

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it back.)

Dear Lord,

Thank You for guidelines.

Help me to remember

the one true rule:

Love my neighbor as myself.

Amen

We are not Christians alone. My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.

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2 responses to “as A rule

  1. All I could think was that I wish you were still my neighbor! What’s for dinner?

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