WEDNESDAY, APRIL 6TH
A TIME OF INSTRUCTION
As we gather for our time of instruction, Jesus invites us to come closer, holding his arms out as if to embrace us all. He looks upon us with tenderness as he begins his story…
When the Pharisees heard that I had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked a question to test me. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” I 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 greatest and first 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.” (Matthew 22:34-40, NRSV, revised*)
Spend a few minutes in the silence of Christ’s presence, simply loving and being loved.
Jesus gives us these three ways to love God – with all of our heart, our soul, and our mind. We also have three ways to know God – as our Creator, as Christ Jesus, and as Spirit! We can thus find God everywhere – in creation, in humanity, and in ourselves. How might we love our Triune God with all that we have and all that we are? Loving God with our heart, soul, and mind might include these ways…
I sense that loving God with all my heart is like the love we hold for those dear to us. We long for and enjoy God’s companionship, we hold God as precious, we cherish God deeply, we hope to please God, and we serve to answer God’s needs.
~ We love God the Creator through loving all of creation. We tend and appreciate our world and its universe, working to preserve the glory God made in it.
~ We love God in Christ through loving all of humanity. We serve and care for one another with compassion and kindness.
~ We love God the Spirit through loving our inner being. We nurture our souls with practices and silences that enrich and inspire.
Loving God with all my soul is like the faithful love and trust we keep within the mystery and magnificence. We embrace and share the love of God as much as we are humanly able, we love with deep surrender and humility, we seek God more than our personal needs.
~ We love God the Creator by spending time in nature, praising God and holding respect and gratitude for the earth, worshiping God by honoring what God has made.
~ We love God in Christ as we celebrate diversity and seek Christ’s presence in everyone. We gather in community to love and serve as Christ would in our world today.
~ We love God in Spirit through welcoming God’s abiding presence, living our lives in faith and trust, tending our spirituality with practices and prayers, and absorbing God’s love within us and letting it emanate from us.
Loving God with all my mind is like the love we honor through our thoughts, information, and insights. We try to keep God first in our decisions, our choices, our plans.
~We love God the Creator as we seek the wisdom of each season, observe the lessons found in nature, and learn new ways to preserve and protect our planet.
~ We love God in Christ as we increase our knowledge of the life and teachings of Jesus so that we may more closely follow his example in our relationships. We learn to share his words of wisdom, encouragement, and insight with those around us.
~ We love God in Spirit by allowing time for mindfulness and contemplation. We remain vigilant about the information we are absorbing, choose what is pleasing and worthy of our thoughts, use difficult lessons as tools for wisdom and maturity.
You may think of other ways to love our omnipresent God with everything we have and are. As we keep deepening in love for God, the instruction of Jesus to love your neighbor as yourself will more generously and naturally flow. Our love will become more complete, perfect, and whole as a natural result of God’s generous and gracious love for us – and our love in return.
Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash
Bible verses found at https://www.biblegateway.com/
*The name of Jesus and his pronouns have been adapted into first-person by Karen.
Love is in the air,
in the dew and in the rain,
love is full of care
unless you’re living in Ukraine.
Love is in the sky,
that’s the safest of safe bets,
but if so, friend, then why
does it look like Russian jets?
Love is all around,
there’s no need for it to spoil;
get the bodies in the ground,
’cause we need that Russian oil.
Love is real, no fallacy;
it’s just not foreign policy.
I too, am so sad about Ukraine… Russia… the world. Your words are so painfully true. We must keep speaking, writing, and acting in love – as much and as often as we can.
Take care of you today, my friend.
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