The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Affirmation of Love Over Rules by Time Magazine: Good News From Christianity

Time announced Pope Francis would be the magazine's Person of the Year. They made him "Person of the Year" for putting loving others over doctrine. The first Franciscan pope placed helping others far above the rules of the faith.

In doing so, Pope Francis has followed the explicit instructions of Jesus to love God and neighbor as the greatest of all commandments. As the lawyer in Luke discovered, our neighbor is everyone, especially anyone who you run across who needs your help. If it is in your capacity to do so, you should do so wholeheartedly, just like the Good Samaritan. What a wonderful reminder as we enter the Christmas season, remembering the birth of Jesus, who blazed our trail in life for us, who told us to live counter-culturally, who placed love first, who told us God does likewise, and whose strongest, angriest denunciations were reserved for those who placed rules (doctrine ... largely human-made doctrine) first in their lives and tried to inflict those rules upon everyone else.

Thanks to the staff of Time for reminding us in this wonderful (but hectic by our own devices) season just where we should place our efforts. Rather than wagging fingers and quoting rules (or allowing our well-paid propagandists from our favorite wing to do it for us), we should be reaching out open hands in love and compassion, helping each other in this often challenging journey of life.
Whatever your faith, or lack thereof, I think this is a manageable task for all of us humans. If we follow the Pope's example and the instruction of Jesus, who knows, maybe humanity could be next year's Person of the Year. It's worth a shot.

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