How are your hinges?

Published 11:57 am Thursday, January 18, 2018

Did you ever think about door hinges? It’s not something we usually think about, they’re just there. But they are important. They are not only important to doors but also to cabinets, or lids, or windows. Without the hinge we’d have to just move the door over like a stone in front of the tomb, making it difficult to come in or out. Builders know how important hinges are, we use so many of them. Think of how many hinges there are just in your home or your office- each of the doors, the cabinets, the windows. Hinges make things so much more convenient and easy to use. And we need at least two. Door hinges restrict the motion of the door to the arc in which it is intended to swing. As long as both hinges remain secure and the frame remains square, the door will function reliably, moving where its creator intended and closing securely. However, if either hinge comes loose, the door becomes an obstruction and will soon tear loose from its frame altogether. The loss of either hinge, therefore, is tantamount to the loss of both hinges — and therefore of the door itself.

In Matthew 22:34-40, Jesus is asked about what is the most important commandment, and he answers, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your mind and with all your soul. This is the first and greatest commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Another word for hang is hinge — on these two commandments hinge all the Law and the Prophets. On these two commandments, hinge the whole Bible. Obedience to these two commandments — to love God and to love neighbor — work together to restrict our activity to the straight and narrow path that God has created us to walk. However, if we choose to ignore either love, we will soon find ourselves in a spiritual ditch. Love of God and of neighbor go together. Each leans on the other and helps to support it. Mother Teresa talks about how we show our love of God in our love of neighbor when she says, “Because we cannot see Christ, we cannot express our love to him; but our neighbors we can always see, and we can do to them what, if we saw him, we would like to do to Christ. Here in the slums, in the broken body, in the children, we see Christ and we touch him.” How are your hinges, do you have them well oiled? Do you love the Lord your God with all you heart and soul and mind — and do you love your neighbor as yourself?

REV. DALE BROWN is the pastor of Cumberland and Guinea Presbyterian churches. His email address is