Teaching Series
This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37, ESV)

Matthew 22:37 may be one of the more quotable texts from the New Testament, known across both Christian (and non-Christian) denominational lines. The simple message, which is often paraphrased in its application, results in people reciting the verse as, “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.” This banal platitude deserves a second look as we complete the year 2017 and seek to enter 2018 with new hope that begins with something we’ve long forgotten—how to love ourselves so that we can better love God and one another. 

This will be no easy task, and will take no less than a firm commitment to reaching further than we may feel is needed, giving beyond what we would consider to be sufficient, serving beyond what would seem to be satisfactory, and empathizing more than what many would see as necessary. This call to love the way Jesus asks us to does not exist in the realm of the ordinary. It is an all-consuming, all-encompassing, all-inclusive call to act the way that Jesus would if He were here to act for Himself. In short, 2018 will require that you rise to the occasion of Jesus. All. in ways you have never experienced before. 

At Boulder Church, we believe that we are to live love in harmony with the message of Christ—who loves us unconditionally and permanently. If we are to live this mission in the coming year, which has been socially forecast to be a contentious one, one where we continue to be deeply divided between red America and blue America, black and white, rich and poor, science and religion, liberal and conservative—we must start with a fresh perspective on a verse that is both overused and overlooked, and which takes us back to the place where love begin— in God and in us.


Love Does by Bob Goff

Love Wins by Rob Bell

This is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Specific Occasion, About Living a Compassionate Life by David Foster Wallace

The Ministry of Healing by Ellen G. White

The Love of God: A Canonical Model by John C. Peckham

The Youth Worker’s Guide to Helping Teens in Crisis by Rich Van Pelt & Jim Hancock

You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit by James K.A. Smith

The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by Epictetus

The Road to Character by David Brooks

Emotional Rescue: Essays on Love, Loss and Life with a Soundtrack by Ben Greenman

A Work of the Heart: Understanding How God Shapes Spiritual Leaders by Reggie McNeal

Authentic by Scott R. Ward

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity (and Why it Matters) by David Kinnaman

Calvin vs Wesley: Bringing Belief in Line with Practice by Don Thorsen

How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer

The Courage to Be: The Terry Lecture Series by Paul Tillich

Cleansing the Sanctuary of the Heart: Tools for Emotional Healing by David & Beverly Sedlacek

Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile by Rob Bell & Don Golden

Communicating for a Change by Andy Stanley & Lane Jones

Of Good Courage: Emboldened to Lead by Catalyst

Provocations by Soren Kierkegaard

Lost in Transition: The Dark Side of Emerging Adulthood by Christian Smith

People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts by Robert Bolton

Talmud Mishnah Sanhedrin (4:5)

Abstract: The Art of Design S1 E7 “Platon: Photography”

Parks and Recreation S4 E4 “Pawnee Rangers”

“Suicide Statistics” by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

“The Six Reasons People Attempt Suicide” by Alex Lickerman (Psychology Today)

“Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber

“Pillar of Salt” by Scott Kabel

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