Love God with everything in you and love your neighbor as much as you love yourself (Mark 12:30-31).
Love. That beautiful attitude, orientation, and action in which I show someone how very special they are and how much I care for them. It is an intense emotion that propels me to look out for the comfort, safety, and emotional wellbeing of a special person, and where the same is returned to me. A beautiful relationship between two people; lovers, close friends, family members.
Or is it just between two people?
During a recent sermon, the preacher suggested that most uses of “you” in the bible refer to a collective “y’all,” and addresses a group of people. In Western society, love is often an individualistic phenomenon where we concentrate on the emotion one human has for another. Here, the idea of a collective y’all creates a new lens through which to view love of God and others. Especially others.
Let’s take a minute to think through this paradigm shift. Most often I hear God’s biblical words as encouragement for various actions or attitude alterations that I, personally, might implement; a consideration of my impact on one other human, or their impact on me. But now we broaden the view a bit to examine what it might look like to collectively love God and others. Especially others.
As a collective endeavor, love of God and others has a radically different feel to it. What does it look like for my group to collectively love God? How can my community collectively express love for God and others? How can my group love your group?
These are revolutionizing questions! They cut straight to the heart of so many of the problems we are experiencing in our world today. They begin to crumble the tenacity of determining which group possesses the tightest grip on reality, and simply addresses the group in question as a valuable entity. How can WE express our love to God? How can WE love Y’ALL?
I picture God smiling with a sigh of relief as his various sects of children finally start asking, “how can my little band of compatriots love y’all’s group?” Begin to imagine with me what collectively loving and serving God might look like. Imagine with me the massive repair that might begin to occur if my group begins to ask how we can, as a collective, love and care for your group. How might my group show yours how very special you are, and how very much we care for you? The intense emotion already begins to well up in me as I imagine my group looking out for the comfort, safety, and emotional wellbeing of your group. What ideas come to mind when you imagine how your group might go about loving a group about whom they have previously spoken badly? Oh! This is exciting! How can y’all start loving them all?
Nehemiah Brent, https://nappy.co/Planetnehemiah
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