Friday, 1 June 2018

The greatest commandment

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. – Mark 12.28-31

The wedding of Harry and Meghan took place in Windsor recently, just in case you hadn’t heard, to great fanfare and celebration and world-wide attention.

One thing really stuck out this time, something that normally would not stand out. It was the sermon by the Anglican bishop who officiated. Although theologically all over the place at one point he mentioned 1 John 4.8 – ‘anybody who does not love does not know God, because God is love.’ He may have missed the mark on a couple of things, but he nailed that. If we can’t love we don’t love God – full stop.

Jesus set that down when the Pharisees tried to trick him with questions. They always fought over the Law and its fine points and what the most important law was so the tried to drag Jesus into the debate.

‘What is the most important commandment teacher?’

Here it is summarised – ‘love God and love others.’

The guy had no answer but, ‘well yeah, you are right Jesus.’

We do need to be people of love. In the recent abortion vote Christians and others said #loveboth . That was easy when all it meant was a mark on a ballot. We have to ask ourselves if we are still willing help when that young woman finds herself scared and desperate and alone. We will love enough to be there in the crisis? We will care enough to let her know that we are there? We can still save lives if we love – and that should be our trademark.

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