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From: Jaq (204.180.197.164)
Subject: "One loving soul sets another on fire." But to move beyond sentimentality, what begins in love must lead on to justice.
Date: July 30, 2005 at 1:53 pm PST

"...the love I mean is the love described by Reinhold Niebuhr in his book of essays Justice and Mercy, where he writes: "When we talk about love we have to become mature or we will become sentimental. Basically love means...being responsible, responsibility to our family, toward our civilization, and now by the pressures of history, toward the universe of humankind."

What I'm talking about will be hard, devoid of sentiment and practical as nails. But love is action, not sentiment. When the church was young and fair, and people passed by her doors, they did not comment on the difference or the doctrines. Those stern and taciturn pagans said of the Christians: "How they love one another!" It started that way soon after the death of Jesus. His disciple Peter said to the first churches, "Above all things, have unfailing love toward one another." I looked in my old Greek concordance the other day. That word "unfailing" would be more accurately rendered "intense."

"One loving soul sets another on fire." But to move beyond sentimentality, what begins in love must lead on to justice. We are called to the fight of our lives.

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I hope upon hope that we will not sleep in the complacency of our own personal growth forgetting what is emerging outside our doors. The choice is ours. The opportunity is knocking. Will we answer the call?




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