Scripture Reading: Mark 12:28-34
One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, ‘Which commandment is the first of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The first is, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’ –Mark 12:28-31
This story, told here in Mark, but also reported in both Matthew (22.32-42) and Luke (10:22-32) is the heart of my personal credo. I do not live it as fully as I would like, but I trust that if I live it to the very best of my ability, I will be on the path God set out for me. When I fail, if I seek forgiveness from God, I trust that God will guide me back to the path. I also trust that God’s path is the best path for me.
What does it mean to truly love God? I spend more time, than I am sure God appreciates, griping in prayer about trivial things that in the long run do not matter. God’s patience is amazing, but often my gripe sessions with God rids me of the doubts or fears or issues of self-worth that are limiting me in loving the other, the neighbors that God also wants me to love. Thus God is an enabler of love. Love is the needed ingredient in this world to bring the Kingdom of God to full fruition. I am a partner with God when I do love the other. Truly loving God, I think, is best realized when I am doing my part by loving my neighbor that sometimes I can only do because of God’s amazing love.
Prayer: Forgive me God when I get in the way of being the persons you created me to be. Thank you for your patience and your grace. Let your love flow in and through me until Your Kingdom comes, Your will is done. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.