Paul's letter to the Romans has a well-deserved reputation as a weighty theological treatise. But it remains a letter. In the later chapters, Paul's warm, pastoral heart shines through.
Romans 13:8-10 is worth quoting in full.
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not covet," and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. This is my ethical creed in a nutshell. Love your neighbor as yourself. Or, in the language of today's writing prompt, nourish your neighbor as yourself.
All manner of ethical dilemmas gain clarity when viewed in this light. What nourishes my neighbor? What builds up my neighbor? What shows love to my neighbor as I want love to be shown to me?
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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