Posted by Rev. Jon Dunbar

Good afternoon, friends of Jesus! The readings for Sunday are Psalm 119:33-40; Leviticus 19:1-2,9-18; 1 Corinthians 3:10-23; Matthew 5:38-48. The book of Leviticus has a reputation, even among Bible-reading Christians, of being nothing more than an outdated bunch of rules with no relevance for Christian life today. This week’s reading proves otherwise. God has been calling us to love our neighbor since the very beginning. While the specific ways we show love may change over time and according to social norms (e.g. the poor no longer glean what’s leftover from harvest) the principle 0f  “Love your neighbor as yourself” has not changed. What’s even more important to understand is WHY we should love our neighbor. Five times in this reading we hear the reminder: “I am the LORD.” Christians love our neighbors not because they are lovable nor because a loving attitude gets us further in life (though it certainly does). We treat people this way because this is the way God has treated us. First and foremost, these verses describe Jesus. As you read through the Leviticus passage ask yourself, “Which of the given examples do I struggle with the most? Ask God’s forgiveness for a time when you have failed in this regard, and also ask for His help in treating others the way Jesus did. God bless your week!