We can draw closer to God by loving God OR we can draw closer to God by loving our neighbor. Which works for you?

Sermons and audio

A small group of people in front of starry skyThis is the week of our Annual Diocesan Convention. It’s the 232nd one we’ve held in the Diocese of Rhode Island since our start. And as such most of my time this week has been taken up with preparing for that gathering and the business that is before us.

So I’m re-sharing the sermon from this week’s lectionary readings from 2020. I rather liked this sermon back then, and it’s worth a second hearing. Perhaps some of you have found these sermons since that time and this will be new to you. I hope you like it as well!

The key point here is to build off the wording that St. Matthew uniquely uses in his account of this encounter between Jesus and the leaders of people. We’re familiar with Jesus’ teaching, which builds off two separate verses found in different parts of the Torah. ““’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

In Matthew, Jesus is making an equals sign between people who love and revere God and God’s light and love AND people who love and care for their neighbor and even strangers. Loving other humans with a wild abandoned love is the same as loving God. And vice versa.

What this can mean for us is part of what I explore in the sermon below.

(The direct link to the video is found here.)

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...