Laboring in Love

When I was in seminary, one of the classes that was mandatory for all masters of divinity students was Christian Moral Theology. While I believe this is a crucial thing to explore and study, at times I got frustrated with the class and how sterilized the "theories" seemed, so far from the realities of actual human beings. I used to tease that watching The Good Place on Netflix (a comedy series originally aired on NBC) and discussing the show with peers should count as an alternative to the class.

Have you seen The Good Place? It's quite fun and thoughtful! The show follows a group of humans as they transition into the afterlife known as the “Good Place.” It's funny but also raises crucial questions of ethics and morality. It conveys some of the theories and thoughts taught in Christian Moral Theology, but in a way that feels more messy, more real, and connected to our everyday lives.

One of the characters on this show is Chidi Anagonye, a professor of ethics and moral philosophy who just can't make a decision about anything. He knows SO MUCH about theories and philosophers, but the overwhelming knowledge of the consequences of each decision, makes it practically impossible for him to ever decide what to do.

This week as we explore Matthew 22:34-46, and the ever-popular text about loving God and loving neighbor, we will explore discernment. What is love? Is love always comfortable and easy? Does love always leave people connected? Perhaps, like Chidi, the more we think about things, the harder at times it is to have a simple answer of what it means to love. How do we push through the mental chaos of making hard decisions so that we can indeed live and act in a way that demonstrates love of God and love of neighbor?

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