‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’
Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and the most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like it: “Love your neighbour as you love yourself.” The whole Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets depend on these two commandments.’ (verses 36-40)
Read Matthew 22:34-46
The Russian writer Dostoevsky tells a story about a woman evangelist who travelled through Russia. She talked always about the love of God, but she couldn’t stand being in the same room with certain people: a man who slurped his soup, a woman who cackled when she laughed, a man who snored when he slept. Dostoevsky concluded his story, ‘Although she loved God in general, she couldn’t stand people’.
The command to love God with everything you have and to love others as you love yourself is easy to agree with but hard to put into practice. Perhaps you find yourself acting like the woman in Dostoevsky’s story, affirming that you love God but finding that loving the argumentative church member or the bossy relative is out of the question.
Be thankful that Jesus loves you and forgives you in spite of your shortcomings. He challenges you, as his forgiven child, to put love into practice, even though some people can be difficult to love.
Lord, help me to love others as you have loved me. Amen.
by Vincent Gerhardy, in ‘Living Water for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2001)
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