Scripture ~ “and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.”
Spiritual Focus ~ “I am a stranger to no one; and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all.” Guru Granth Sahib, the central holy scripture of Sikhism
Breath Prayer ~ Friend to All
Devotion ~ We return to the Sermon on the Mount for our devotion today. As part of this powerful sermon, Jesus is emphatic that he did not come to abolish the law God gave to Moses, but to fulfill it. More simply stated, Jesus’ teachings were so radical that his audience wondered if everything they believed and had been taught by their rabbis was false! Jesus takes the law and applies it in a new way, embodying the spirit of the law. In this way, Jesus simultaneously fulfills the law and guides us how to behave ethically, how to be human and friend to all. Jesus’ teaching through the law redirects the focus to the way God intends us to live and experience abundant life.
During Jesus’ time, “going the extra mile” was a burden that the Roman soldiers could impose on any citizen at any time. “Go the extra mile” today has come to mean to go beyond what is expected of you.
During the pandemic we saw many examples of people going the extra mile for their fellow human beings. Many of those who went the extra mile did not stop to judge, ask questions, or determine which laws applied, but, instead, acted in the spirit of the law. They acted as human to human in a way that rendered the term stranger irrelevant. In yoga philosophy we study how the ego, or Self, and the Other operate in relationship to each other. Balancing this relationship is important in fulfilling how we behave as human beings with one another, or as described in our scripture, how we go the extra mile for the sake of the other.