This past Sunday, representatives from Largs District Churches Together led an ecumenical worship service on the main stage at the Viking Festival.

The scripture reading at the service was from Romans 13. Here are a couple of verses that were read: “The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet’; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’

"Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.”

The Epistle to the Romans is a letter that the Apostle Paul wrote to the followers of Jesus in Rome, a new Christian church, and his letter let them know about the gospel and how they ought to live.

That was important because some folks during the first century said new Christians ought to follow traditional Hebrew regulations and some folks in Rome didn’t know what to do about that. After all, some of them had grown up worshipping Zeus or Apollo or Aphrodite, and so they needed to know what the rules were and what commandments to follow.

And there weren’t just 10 commandments to consider, because there were 613 commandments in the Torah, according to some folks.

But fortunately, Paul was an expert in the law, so he ought to know which ones were the most important.

And Paul tells the church at Rome that they can follow every one of the commandments, like “do not covet”, “don’t murder”, “don’t steal”, and every other commandment (remember he’s not talking just about the 10, but about 613) by just doing one thing, and that’s loving their neighbour as themselves.

He says that if they do that, they have fulfilled the law in its entirety. And by the way, your neighbour is anybody who isn’t you.

So if you ever worry about whether you’re being “good” enough, or whether you’re following all the right rules and regulations, just ask whether you’re loving your neighbour as yourself, whether you consider the needs of others to be as important as your own.

If so, you’re following every single commandment there is, just by doing that one thing. Surely it can’t be that simple, can it? Paul said it was, and he should know.