A heard a kind of joke the other day, which isn’t really a joke, but I liked it and used it to start my sermon last week. I don’t usually do the joke thing at the start of the sermon (no need when most of your sermon is a joke anyway!) but last Sunday I did.
It went something like this:
It involves a group of rabbis. They like to challenge each other. They have various challenges suitable for rabbis. In particular they like to challenge rabbi Gabriel. Gabriel knows too much! Gabriel always has something to say. Gabriel is the one everyone wants to out do. So they call Gabriel over …. ‘our challenge to you is to stand on one leg and recite the whole of God’s law. Gabriel ponders …. and they think they have him …. ‘at last something he will fail at they think’! ….
‘too hard a challenge?’ they ask?
‘Ok’, says Gabriel, and moves into the centre of the circle. He stands on one leg and starts,
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your mind and with all your soul.
Love your neighbour and yourself.’
He stops hopping, places both feet on the ground, smiles and says ‘the rest is narrative!
There are lots of arguments flying around ‘church’ at the moment ….. and some people involved in those arguments seem to have lost sight of the core of ‘the law’.
The core is love, and if the core is love we are called to love, and if we love then how can we exclude?
God’s law is love.