Dr. Camille Cooke Murray notes that the rich man in Jesus' parable caught 'affluenza,' a sickness caused by having too much. It can cause blindness, lack of sensitivity, and numbness in the heart. We see a number of cases of this disease in our own culture--and even those of us who aren’t all that wealthy may still turn a blind eye to someone in need.
In his sermon, the Rev. Scott Hoezee says we get so used to defining righteousness and the 'Christian way of doing things' to whatever it is we have grown accustomed to that we are no longer open to the surprises God has in store for us. And the heart of God’s law has all along been love.
The Rev. Russ Levenson explains that in Deuteronomy, Moses tries to beat a bit of truth into stubborn heads, essentially saying 'you are not going to find your way to happiness by ignoring the one who created the concept—happiness and life are only found in following him.' For Jesus, to be righteous means being in a right relationship with God, and that kind of relationship bears the fruit of right actions, not the other way around.
Dr. Russ Levenson helps us understand what love is, and is not, and how it is lived out. And it’s not complicated: first, we’re called to love God--our lives dedicated to hearing and doing God’s will for us. Second, we’re called to love our neighbors--and not just those in our inner circles. And third, we’re called to love ourselves--often the hardest to do.