Posted by: jaimemwsanders | March 24, 2020

The Golden Rule is Not Suspended

The news today is that the Summer 2020 Olympics has been postponed. Here in Oregon, Governor Brown has given into pressure from mayors and hospitals and issued orders requiring most people to stay home except for trips for essential things like food and medicine. Our normal routines are suspended.

You know what isn’t suspended? The Golden Rule. Jesus didn’t say, “love your neighbor as yourself unless there is a pandemic that originated in their country.” Jesus didn’t say, “worship God, not Mammon, unless that would be bad for your company’s bottom line.” Jesus didn’t say, “Do to others as you would have them do to you unless that would be inconvenient.”

This is a time for everyone who calls themselves Christian to reread the Sermon on the Mount, (Matthew, chapters 5-7), or its parallel, the Sermon on the Plain (Luke, 6:17-49).

When you hear someone suggesting that lives should be sacrificed for the sake of “the economy,” remember these words of our Lord:

“No one can serve two masters, for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

Matthew 6:24 (NRSV)

When someone expresses animus against a Chinese-American, or a Chinese visitor to the United States, because the novel coronovirus first emerged in China, remember these words of our Lord:

‘Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?

Matthew 7:1-3 (NRSV)

If you don’t remember these specific words, you can remember the Golden Rule, common to not only followers of Jesus but to other people of morality and goodwill:

‘In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.

Matthew 7:12

And when you are fearful, as we all are just now, and with good reason, remember these words, also from the Sermon on the Mount:

‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? . . . But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:25-27, 33

Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash

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