“I Am the Lord Your God”

Leviticus 19:9-18 (NRSV)

By John Grimm

When God says something directly to his people, he is quite emphatic.  In our relationships with one another, we do what is right for those relationships because the Lord is our God.  Righteousness happens between people because that is the way that the Lord our God is.  Whether we are harvesting, or speaking with one another, or interacting with the deaf, or working with all classes of neighbors, or when we attempt to bear a grudge, we are to be righteous.  Why?

God says it emphatically, clearly, and purposefully: “I am the Lord your God.”

Is this truth working in our lives?  Is this truth working in our local churches?  Is this truth working in our Annual Conference?  Is this truth working in our current denomination, the United Methodist Church?

These questions are for the people of God.  These questions are not for the unchurched. 

Are there happenings in our lives that attempt to refute God’s position in creation?  We are to care for the poor.  We are to honorably carry God’s name with our lives.  We can fear God, even when others do not frighten us.  We can honor our neighbors of all classes.  We can love our neighbors as ourselves.

We seek justice—the kind that honors God and recognizes our neighbors.  We deliver the truth—the kind that honors God and recognizes our neighbors.  We love—the kind that honors God and recognizes our neighbors.

Are the many sides in the United Methodist Church recognizing that the Lord is our God?  Are we doing such by refraining from bending the truth?  Are we loving our enemies?

Lord, you are God.  There is no other god for us.  As we interact and go through the present turmoil in the United Methodist Church, forgive us for not loving our neighbors, especially those who do not believe as we do.  We are to honor you and recognize the dignity of our neighbors.  Guide us to be righteous as you are righteous while we live in these days.  In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray.  Amen.