Peace be with you!
The world Jesus lived in and the world we live in are not much different. The world was and still is a hostile place – Satan still lives among us. As the Pharisees and the scribes plot to have Jesus arrested and killed, Jesus is in the temple in Jerusalem when a scribe asks him what the greatest commandment is (Mark 12:28c). As Jesus faces the upcoming ordeal of the cross, the question allows him one last chance to teach the masses.
The scribe’s question comes out of sincerity; even though most of the scribes aligned themselves with the Pharisees, some of them were open to Jesus’ message. If Jesus is the Messiah (or even just a great teacher, as far as the scribe knows), then he should know which of the commandments is the greatest. The scribe wants to know what God really wants from his children. The scribe is asking, “What is at God’s heart?” (Mark 12:28c).
The answer is simple: love your God with your whole being – heart, understanding, soul and strength (Mark 12:29-30; Deuteronomy 6:4-5). This is the positive side of the first commandment: you shall have no other gods. Our God is the one above all of the other gods. No other god can love us more than our God. He deserves the wholeness of our love.
How do we express our love to God? Jesus gives us a second commandment: love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31; Leviticus 19:18). God shows us love through others’ actions, and we show others God’s love through our actions. Micah 6:6 says that God wants justice, kindness, and humility to be how we live out our lives and express his love to others.
As you look at the devastation Hurricane Sandy left in the northeast, I invite you to think of ways to show God’s love to those trying to rebuild their lives. Will you donate to Red Cross? Will you help with the clean-up? Will you send teddy bears to the children who lost their homes and toys in the storm? Will you make meals for those who now have nothing? Will you make families without a bed a quilt? Will you shovel your elderly neighbor’s snowed-in driveway? Will you drive a person in a wheelchair to safety? Hurricane Sandy is having a great effect on the northeastern part of United States. What a great excuse for us to love God by loving others.
Thanks be to God!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for loving us by sending Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Help us to show others your love through our actions of justice, kindness, and humility. Remind of your love through the actions of others. Thank you for allowing us to show others your love. Amen.
Thanks to the Triune God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the comment covenant.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
1. What is at God’s heart? What does God want from us?
2. How will you love God by loving those affected by Hurricane Sandy?