“To follow Jesus is to be a wholemaker, essentially to love the world into new being and life.” – Ilia Delio, Making All Things New
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One of the scribes, when he came forward and heard them disputing and saw how well Jesus had answered them, asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?” Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, 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.”
Here we have a foundational statement from Jesus.
It’s a quote that sums up everything for a person who claims to be a Christian.
But in the name of religion, we have taken what was very simple and turned it into a complex and enormous compilation of rules, doctrines, dogmas and rituals.
Not that all of those things are bad as they are sometimes necessary in order to operate a human-made institution without chaos.
But we have to see the obvious irony between how simple Jesus made the whole matter and how complicated humans made it!
As I often quote, “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
And Jesus states that love is the bottom line.
When we love, we pour ourselves out in the service of others and all creation.
Jesus demonstrated this in his life and death, speaking truth to power but non-violently and always with love and mercy in mind.
What would happen if all followers of Jesus actually loved God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and loved our neighbor (meaning everyone) as if they were our very selves?
We would be very close to experiencing the kingdom of God in the here and now (Mark 12:34).
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Remember: God loves you!