If you were asked to say what was the greatest event in the last century, how would you respond? What about the greatest movie star or sports person ever?
Saying what is the ‘greatest’ of something may be hard depending on the topic. Also we may vary in our views on what makes a thing or person greater than others.
In Matthew’s Gospel we can read of an occasion when Jesus was asked by a law expert,
“which is the greatest commandment?” (Matthew 22:36)
We don’t know from the text what the expert was hoping to hear – what they thought was the greatest. Yet Jesus said that the heart of things is to
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and to “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).
How do you respond to what Jesus saw as the ‘greatest’?
For those who have been in the ICL community from before 2020, you may remember a series called ‘Love comes to Town’. That series was based around these verses above from Matthew 22. In a new series on various Sundays up until mid July, there will be a focus from Romans 12 about ‘Transformational Love…’
We will look at how God’s love has the potential for transforming
- how we view God and living our lives in response
- the way we think and what influences this
- how we see gifts given to us – that we might help others
- the way we can be community – unity working out in the ups and downs of life.
- how we respond to those who are different to us or even to those against us (think issues like prejudice or cultural misunderstandings)
That is quite a list but Romans 12 touches on all those things and more. Though written back in the first century, it still has relevance in 2021, even amidst the realities of this ongoing pandemic.
Want an overview of the book of Romans?
For a brief overview of Romnas and to give some context for chapter 12, check out the following from the Bible Project:
Chapters 1 to 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej_6dVdJSIU
Chapters 5 to 16: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SVTl4Xa5fY
(The second one includes a brief summary of the first video. So if you don’t have so much time, just watch the second one)