From: Rich Carlson
Date: April 15, 2021
Subject: It's April 15; Good Morning Union

“Love the Lord… and love your neighbor.”    Matthew 22:37-40


And here’s a favorite teaching of Jesus that reminded dad, and me, (and hopefully you today!) of the clarity of God’s direction for basic, bottom-line living. When it’s all said and done the whole Bible message of how to live day-to-day might just be summarized in two sentences:

  1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart
  2. Love your neighbor like you love yourself


It seems so simple that I keep trying to make it hard! How can I really love God? I’ve never even seen Him. And can I risk the commitment of a “with all my heart” kind of love? I don’t even know if that is possible. And I still often ask the same question the original receiver of this “command” had—“And who exactly IS my neighbor?” The people that live around me in my neighborhood are amazing people and we all get along really well. I have some great neighbors.  But I can’t say I “love them” like I love myself. I like them all very much, but “love them like I love myself?” I’m not sure.


But even in my “unsureness” (if that’s even a word!) my feeble attempts at both of Jesus’ commands are much more satisfying than to not love at all. Love is always a risk, but I’ve found that it’s worth it. I just don’t cripple my desires and intentions with an “all or nothing” deal. God set the ideal and I keep that ideal as my focus as I try and figure out how to apply it in more and more of my life. Ellen says it will take me eternity to understand God’s love for me, so why should I think I can understand how to respond perfectly today? It’s not about perfection, it’s about process and progress. Today I want to love God with all I can muster, and I want to be as loving as I can toward whoever God brings into my life. Will I do either perfectly? Probably not. But better to do it imperfectly and keep learning that to not do it at all because I can’t do it completely! God and people are worth the investment, as I have learned, to make this life better and eternity more real.


Have a great day giving your best shot at loving God and others,

Pastor Rich


Quote for the day:      “The cost of being wrong is much less than the cost of doing nothing.”


PS        uGather- 10:30am in the church. Join us each week as we come together as a Union College family to build community and fellowship with God and His word. This week Mic Henton, youth pastor at CVC, will be speaking.