Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Set Apart

Last week, I discussed the love one another verse in Leviticus and a way of looking at Leviticus other than the legalistic way we often approach it.

This past week, Luke 6:27-42 was part of the devotional liturgy in the Mosaic Bible. This is the passage on loving your enemies. As I was reading it, I thought back to the Levitical love passage and blog post. This is another passage that is often approached legalistically, with people sometimes literally saying to have people whack you on both cheeks.

I'm not sure Jesus was advocating a literal adherence to this way of loving our enemies. This time reading through it, the passage hit me more as a way of living out the "love one another" command and setting ourselves apart from the rest of the culture. The culture at the time of Jesus was not very loving. There was a lot of hierarchy and abuse (including quite literal, physical abuse). So engaging people in a different way was as a significant a difference as the ways the Israelites were commanded to act in Leviticus in contrast to the other Canaanites. Frankly, in Jesus' time, living out Leviticus would not have really been that significant as a way of setting believers apart.

We are a much more loving society, at least on the surface. Treating people fairly is expected (again, at least on the surface). Are we really asked to become doormats and walked all over. I don't think so. Rather, we need to love people radically in ways that are holy and biblical and are different from the rest of the world. This is not to say that loving people in the ways of the world are inappropriate. We just need to do something more, too.

I'm honestly not totally sure what this would look like. I have some ideas, but I'd rather hear what some of yours are.

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