Love the Lord

By Dave Brock, presiding evangelist

…“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 12:29–31

Love God. Love your neighbor.

The rest is commentary. It is that simple. Almost all who walk the planet would say “yes” to those five words. Why then does it seem so difficult to live these two commandments?

Is God? If God is, what is God like? What does God want? How do I get to know God? Why do I sometimes feel like loving and connecting with God, and why do I at other times feel like I want God to leave me alone? Is loving God with all one’s might, mind, and strength just a little too much to expect? Or is its practice my greatest joy and a gift to receive?

And who is my neighbor? With 6 billion people on the planet who is truly my neighbor and what is love supposed to look and feel like in the realities of my everyday life? What is doable?

Sometimes I can’t get along with the kids next door. Other times I sense the deepest connection to a person of another faith who is praying for me. Who is my neighbor?

And what does it mean to love myself? Why does what passes for love so often not measure up or endure? How is it that I sometimes experience such deep love when I least expect it? Why am I surprised with a love beyond what seems humanly possible?

So, the questions lead to all the words and stories of faith that circle these two commandments. They are the guide on our path. Love is both a gift received, and it is the vulnerability that costs everything. Love is. Sometimes we stumble into it and out of it, and sometimes it comes to us unbidden like a fresh stream in the desert!

The key to the commandment, “Love the Lord,” is the one great fact: “God is, and God loves you and me.” If we know that fact—truly know it—then we fulfill the commandments!

Prayer for Peace:

God of eternal love, sometimes when we are distracted, your love is unbidden. When we open to it, we realize how thirsty for love we are.

Spiritual Practice for the Week: Honoring the Worth of All Persons

Read Psalm 139:13–18. After each reading sit quietly and let the deep meaning of the words sink into your mind, heart, and body. Sense the intimate knowledge God has of you. Ask God for an awareness of the sacred worth of each person on the planet. How are you being invited to notice, protect, heal, and affirm the spiritual identity of all?

Peace Covenant:

Today, God, I will take time to be still and feel your love wash over me. I will share your love with my neighbors.

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2 Comments

  1. Rita Elena

     /  9 November 2012

    LOVE it 😀 Tears came out just thinking of all the message. Thank you Dave 🙂 XOXOXO to all.

  1. Loving in Action « Walking in the Shadows

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