A recent study notes that those in American culture work more than ever, taking no vacations. Many workers do not even receive paid sick leave. We work very hard, trying to achieve, to succeed, and to bear fruit that, in the end, will spoil.
Often we approach our lives with God in similar ways. We work at it, going down the spiritual checklist, hoping that the work paves the way for our salvation. Yet no matter how hard we try, the question remains: Am I doing enough?
Like today’s “legal expert” we want to check in and see where we stand. We want an evaluation of our progress; we want to make sure we are in line for the reward. Like every faithful and learned person of his day, the legal expert knows what the law requires in order to live into the promise of eternity: love God and love neighbor.
Jesus’ call is ours: Go and do it! Immediately our minds race to Sunday school classes, Bible studies, and small-group accountability meetings. Why do we still feel like we are not doing enough, like there has to be a more complex answer? Is this all that you require, Jesus?
Let us take time today to consider what we understand to be our call of discipleship. Loving God and neighbor must move from being a checklist item, a sign of our constant temptation to earn our salvation. Instead we remember that this love is the fruit of our encounter with God’s love for us. Now we have an opportunity to introduce others to this gift of grace.
God, we hunger to know where we stand. May we resist the temptation to earn our salvation. Instead, may we by your Spirit share the love we have been given. Amen.