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Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet’; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

Romans 13.8-10


None of us like to be in debt, to feel that we owe another person anything - a favour, money, time, whatever. One way of translating the Disciple's Prayer (also called 'The Lord's Prayer') is "forgive us our debts, as we forgive those indebted to us." - which is kind of a sigh-of-relief prayer moment!

When we think of debt, we think of an uneven relationship, a relationship where something is out of balance, something has gone off-kilter.

But when it comes to love, says Paul the Apostle, it is perfectly correct that things should be off-balance. We should love profligately, prodigally (the word prodigal means 'abundantly, excessively, generous'). Love is not a transaction, we don't give in order that we get, we give, and give. We give unconditionally, generously, without limit. 

That doesn't mean, though, we expose ourselves to being abused, or hurt ourselves in the process, to love is not to let another take advantage of us or use us or wrong us. 

But we are called to love unevenly, to love despite the risk of it not being reciprocated, to love the unlovely and unlovable, to love those we disagree with, to love those who consider themselves our enemies. This love, the love inspired by Jesus who prayed for his own murderers' forgiveness, is a divine, inspired, deep love. A love of fierce tenderness, a love which can transform ourselves, and transform the world as we give ourselves over to so great a power of love.


Commission & Benediction
(based on Romans 13: 8-14)
As you go from here,
remember to love.
For love is what God asks of us;
it is the very heart and soul
of what it means to follow Jesus Christ.
So go from here to love and serve God
by loving and serving those you meet.
And may God—
who loved us first, and who showed us what real love looks like—
be with you and among you
wherever you find yourself in the coming week.  Amen.

from re:Worship