BU President Butler: Love Thy Neighbor
In his weekly message on July 2, 2020, Bethel University President Walter Butler urged his constituents to “Love Thy Neighbor.” The text of his message follows.
I wish I could say the right words about what our United States of America has seen since May 25, 2020. Those 8 minutes and 46 seconds should have never happened! However, they did. Peaceful, meaningful protests since then have happened and they should in order to give a voice for the unjust.
When will it all stop? How do we find meaningful change that will make us all proud to be brothers and sisters and One Nation Under God? These are valid questions to ask during this time.
I, like you, am praying. I am trying to find out how you and I, regardless of our past, can be conduits for a brighter future, that begins right now.
I want to share two passages from the Holy Scriptures that have given me guidance over the last few days.
Genesis 1:26-28, 31:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in His own image,
In the image of God He created him;
Male and female He created them.
And God blessed them.
And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.
Another passage that speaks volumes to me at this time is found in the Gospel of Mark.
In Mark 12, when asked by the scribes what is the greatest commandment of all, Jesus responded, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” In verse 31 he added that there is also a 2nd great commandment and it is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus says there is no greater commandments than these. Powerful message from the Son of God is given to us in Mark 12.
I hope that these verses will teach us today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and forevermore to remember that we are created in the image of God and that we are called to love everyone like we love ourselves.
Join me in remembering Genesis 1 and practicing Mark 12. While I focus on these scriptures, I plan to be listening more today than yesterday and more tomorrow than today to my neighbors.
May God bless each of us.