The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Loving God and loving neighbor

How do we live out our faith in today's 24/7 culture?

How am I supposed to do this?” she asked in frustration. “How am I supposed to live this out?”

The woman asking the question was a young friend, a consultant whose gifts for organizational management have brought her prosperity and respect at an early age. Married to a lawyer and the mother of two children, she has attended church since she was a girl and has long participated in Bible study.

We had come to the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) and had been reflecting on showing God’s mercy to our neighbor when the question burst out of her mouth.

It’s the question at the heart of our faith: How do we live out what we believe in the midst of our culture? How do we embody the Great Commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27)?

How in God’s name are we to become who Christ calls us to be while the dominant culture encourages us to seek wealth and fame and to be working nonstop, 24/7? How do we grow beyond the various polarities that plague us, both within the church and within our larger society?

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