“Love God and love others. It’s as simple as that.” I’ve said some variation of that phrase in my preaching too many times to count. It’s a simple way I remind people about the centrality of practicing the Great Commandment. It’s easy to chase secondary issues and miss the vertical and horizontal dimension of this command.
It dawned on me though that I’ve not done a good job of describing what it means biblically to love God and others. Unlike theologically weighty terms, love (on the surface) does not seem to require further explanation. But when the call to love is not clearly defined, cultural bias and definitions take over. People assume they know what it means without digging into the text to see what it really means. As a preacher, my role is too important to continue doing that.