Daily Devotions

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He 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 22:37—Kelle Turner

 

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He 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 22:37—Kelle Turner

Lest one begins to think that God has no expectations of us let’s remember Jesus’ words and think again. God has high expectations for us as followers. God has high expectations for us as we step up from the waters of our Baptism into Christ’s death and resurrection. God has high expectations as we live in the forgiveness and grace remembered and received freely at the Table of the Lord. God means for our lives to be so impacted by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus that we become transformed back to our true natures and image of God.

So, we love God, because God is so good.

So, we love God, because God has loved us first.

So, we love God, because God’s Holy Spirit is at work in us.

And because we love God, we love the things that God loves: Justice, Truth, Peace, Patience, Kindness and all the Fruit of the Spirit. Because we love God, we love the people God loves. Perhaps of these two directions of love this is the harder one for me. There are so many unlovable traits in the people who inhabit this planet with us. Have you noticed? There are so many annoying and infuriating qualities in “them.” (Not so much in me of course.) And “they” have sinned against us, hurt us, threatened us.”

Jesus knew all that. Jesus experienced all that. Nevertheless, He commands us to love. Love is the fulfilling of God’s Word to us.

Loving our neighbor as ourselves is also the only way to end the cycle of violence, hatred, despair and hopelessness. More violence will not end violence. More hate will not end hate. More killing will not end killing. It never has. While it is true that they “fight fire with fire” the things that are destroying us will not be stopped by more of the same.

Listen to the Word of the Lord. Listen to Jesus. This is His prescription: Love God—Love others. Amen.

Pastor Roy Christell

Connecting with God, Connecting with Others and Connecting with what God is doing in the World