This week I’ve been reflecting on the Greatest Commandments (Matthew 22:37-40, Mark 12:29-31, Luke 10:27), which are commonly abbreviated to “love God and love others.” I will spare you the back story, but I found myself looking at it in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 6:4-5 is what Jesus quotes as the first of the two Greatest Commandments, but in the verses that follow I noticed that this commandment is a living document. It is to be foremost in the hearts and minds of God’s people. In verse 8 it reads, “Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” Orthodox Jewish people have taken this literally by tying leather boxes with small scrolls of scripture in them on their wrists and foreheads. I’m not speaking against that practice, but I see it in a metaphorical way. The way in which we see and interact with the world around us should be bound to the commandment to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength. This I believe is wrapped up in Jesus second statement, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
If our heart is to be disciples of Jesus, then this is the lesson that is always before us. When we are with him, he will teach us to love like this. It is the paradigm of our life. Jesus didn’t promise it would be easy, but he did promise he would be with us as we walk through it. He also gave us one another. We are not alone.
I pray you experience God’s grace as he leads you to love, Jesus’ way.
Grace and peace,