NORMAN — To be Christlike, first, honor the father, second, love one another. What’s third?
Step one takes care of the rest
The Rev. Paul Rock, Second Presbyterian Church: How about this: Honor God, love one another ... repeat.
If we were to simplify even further, we could call it quits after step one. That would put us in the company of others who desired Christlikeness, such as Martin Luther and Augustine of Hippo who said, “Love God and do whatever you please: for the soul trained in love to God will do nothing to offend the one who is beloved.”
Sounds good. However, in whittling our faith down to this one mandate, the question of which God you honor or love becomes paramount.
Various, devout disciples have committed inspiring acts of heroism and healing as a result of their commitment to and love for God. Others have committed astounding acts of violence motivated by the same.
So, returning to the original question, the God I try to love is the God made known to me in Jesus Christ; the resurrected one who swallowed up our anger and violence with the transforming power of forgiveness and grace. The one who said our love for one another was the best indicator of our love for him.
As we near Pentecost, I’m encouraged that God, in Christ, continues to love us and help us love each other by his Spirit which sews the yeast of God’s love into our imperfect lives through scripture, worship, mission and days lived out in the family of faith.
I’ll let more advanced theologians speculate on step three. My to-do list is full enough with steps one and two.
Putting faith into action
The Rev. Raymond Davis Jr., founder and emeritus, Greater Corinthian Church of the Christ: To be Christlike is to be “Christian.” The word Christlike is not a printed word in the New Testament.