Let yourself become open to God and the knowledge that comes from the Word. Ask God for peace at this time.
Leviticus 19:1-4, 32-37 (NRSV)
The LORD spoke to Moses, saying:
Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. You shall each revere your mother and father, and you shall keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God. Do not turn to idols or make cast images for yourselves: I am the LORD your God.
You shall rise before the aged, and defer to the old; and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.
When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
You shall not cheat in measuring length, weight, or quantity. You shall have honest balances, honest weights, an honest ephah, and an honest hin: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. You shall keep all my statutes and all my ordinances, and observe them: I am the LORD.
When a new person starts on my shift at the fire department, one of the things I go over with him is a simple decision algorithm. First, ask yourself what is best for the patient/customer? If your decision doesn’t affect the customer’s interests, ask yourself: what is best for the fire department? If your decision isn’t going to have an effect on the customer or the department, then ask: what is best for me? If the employee bases decisions on that algorithm, if things go bad he or she can say, “I did what was in the person’s best interest,” or “I did what was in the department’s best interest.”
The Lord told Moses that he was to tell the people that they should be holy, then proceeded to describe in detail how they were to accomplish that. I prefer Jesus’ simpler algorithm: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength,” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” If you base your decisions on those guidelines, if things go wrong you can say, “I did it because I love God.” Hard to imagine how that could go wrong.
Lord, help me to remember that I am third—first you, then my neighbor, and me last. Amen.
Go with God.