Barry Feaker is one of the most godly men I know. Now, you probably don’t know Barry, and that’s OK. He’s the executive director of the Topeka Rescue Mission, an organization that, like Carpenter Place, relies solely on private donations to operate. I met Barry when we lived in Topeka. He knows what it means to love God and he knows what it means to love his neighbor. He is well respected in the community. When Barry speaks, to borrow a worn phrase, people listen. And he’s not afraid to speak of those things he considers of utmost importance…loving God and loving one’s neighbor.
When the gospel writer Matthew records Jesus as saying that the whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments (Matthew 22:40), he records perhaps one of the greatest sayings in all of scripture. R.C.H. Lenski in his commentary says of this verse, “These two are the nail from which all else written in the Old Testament hangs suspended. Take away this nail, and everything else would fall in a heap. It would lose its true meaning, significance, and purpose.”
Think about it. Is there anything written in the Old Testament, or the New Testament for that matter, that doesn’t have reference in some way to one of those two commandments? Let’s take that further. Is there any decision you make today that could not be enhanced by your considering whether your decision fulfills one or both of these commandments? The things we do, say, and think should all be run through the filter of whether or not those things are a demonstration of our love for God and love for our neighbor. Any other such filters than these two are but poor substitutes for the reality of the love of God for us and our corresponding response, in love for Him and our fellow man.
By the way, Barry was interviewed on a recent public television program. You can watch that interview on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=139mln9df2A