Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:34-40
I Googled the image for this post. I didn’t want something cutesy, syrupy or too Valentine’s-ish. I wanted something that reflected my heart at the moment. Right now, my heart is holding moments of joy – it’s Friday, tomorrow’s Saturday – yeah! My heart is holding some sorrow – I grieve for a friend who is going through the loss of a loved one. My heart aches – it hurts for one who is in pain. My heart is full of relief – the concert is over, the craft afternoon a success. My heart has lots of little pieces that experience all kinds of things.
Jesus’ desire is that I have one consuming heart passion – that I would love Him with all of my heart. All the pieces of it that feel that whole array of emotions. The bits of joy, grief, sorrow, relief, all of that is also supposed to be part of the heart experience of loving Him too. He asks me to love Him with all of my heart and soul and mind. Not only the physical and spiritual parts of myself but the thinking part of me too. It’s all meant to be full of love for Him. It’s not just reserved for one part of myself. Everything I am is meant to ooze love for Him.
Pouring out of my love for Him, is meant to flow a love for those around me. The neighbour in the home next door. The neighbour whose vehicle I park beside. The neighbour across the hall at work. The neighbours who occupy the desks in my room. The neighbours in the office who help my work to move along. The neighbours who I sit with in church. The list of neighbours seems rather long. Can I really be loving to so many? I think about the ways I take care of myself. Am I gracious and respectful. Do I attempt to nurture them along the path. Do I support them as they step out in places unknown. Do I walk the paths their feet are treading? Am I the listening ear they need? Do I really listen or do I listen with half an ear? Am I as loving of my neighbours as I am called to be?
This Advent season, I will brush elbows with many. I pray that I will love them with empathy and compassion. May my love of the Father be reflected in how I love them.