Today’s Bible reading
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: `Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: `Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” — Mark 12:28-31
More thoughts for meditation from the Sunday Meeting Plan
The Sunday Meeting teams have a collection of lore and agreements that guides what they do each week. One part is about “Designing a Useful Liturgy.” Here’s part of it:
“Sunday Meeting leaders have a task as broad as the history of worship and the revelation of God, and as narrow as their personal limitations and the needs of the present moment. But we can try to get a handle on their service by starting from a basic statement about relating to God from Mark 12:28-31 (above)
The whole of each person is the object of God’s covenant love. We don’t come in pieces. Compartmentalizing is impossible. The whole of each of us is claimed by God for himself.
To love God in return is to seek God for his true character, to have pleasure in him and to strive impulsively to meet him and go with him. Our relationship to God as children disposes us to love him and realigns our will to serve him. In worship, we discipline our entire true selves to express our love fully.
In pointing out four aspects of a human being, Jesus is simply calling together all that a person is. He was saying, “We surrender to love God with our entire beings.” He is not so interested in sorting out the individual sense of each word, but for our purposes, the nuances help us plan for love.
Heart: Our ordinary awareness, primarily. The center of our ego, our sense of being a person. Feelings, desires, passions, reflection, moral conviction.
Soul: Our spiritual awareness. Where we most deeply connect with God. The life in us that transcends time. The place of accountability. The seat of sorrow, joy, suffering.
Mind: Our ordinary awareness, primarily. Where we are conscious. Our understanding, ethical awareness, inclinations, attitudes.
Strength: Not only bodily strength, but primarily. Our ability, capacity, potency. The power we are given to exercise.
Suggestions for action
Pray: I hear the commands. Train my whole being to respond when you call my name.
What part of you, heart, soul, mind or strength, most readily responds to God? What part needs development and how do you intend to cooperate?
For a moment, sink into Holy Spirit awareness, if you can. It is a joy beyond our natural capacities.