Tuesday, January 03, 2023

You shall love, part 1


You shall love, part 1

Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
The first commandment is this:
‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord.
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: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
There is no other commandment greater than these.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

When God birthed the world and all that is in it, ‘she’ did so simply by speaking everything into being. God’s words are substantial, have substance, form substance, matter. But when the Lord God created human beings, ‘he’ fashioned them, alone, with his hands.

God had created Sky and Earth and Seas, each a place for life to flourish, delighting in a bird that, having once taken flight, would not set foot on land again for years; in earthworms that would pull fallen leaves into the soil and break them down to feed future leaves, as-yet unfurled; in the majestic blue whale circling the oceans as the sun wheels the heavens. But when God created humans, he took clay and added breath, water vapour: air and water, Sky and Sea, combined, and combining with Earth, all three. This creature, this new creation, is not bound to any one place but elected from every sphere.

This three-in-one creature has a purpose, and that purpose is to love. So shall they be the crown of, and over, all creation. When God expands on this later, God says, ‘You shall love…’ You shall love with your whole being. Remember, God’s words are substantial, give substance. We tend to hear these words as an injunction we fail to adhere to, an impossible command that sets us up for failure, but they are not. When God says, ‘You shall love,’ these are the substantial words of the One who creates, redeems, and sustains all life. It is as impossible for us not to love as it is for the sun to give light: the very thing God created it to do, bringing it back after it is eclipsed by every night, by every winter, guaranteeing that it shines on. The question is not can or will we love—it is impossible for us not to—but where will our love be directed?


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