Monday, February 10, 2014

What the Greatest Commandment Doesn't Say

Seven words with a type of magnetic quality. I keep being pulled back to them. The words click into my consciousness at least once a day and my brain cells fire anew trying to decipher why the phrase is so important, so unrelenting, so difficult to process and store neatly on the shelf. Why is this line of syllables distinct from the thousands of other lines of information traveling through my mind?

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God…”  

Love Him. It doesn´t say…love the idea of Him. It doesn´t say…love what He does for you. It doesn´t say…love the blessings He bestows. It doesn´t say…love how He makes you feel. It doesn´t say…love the values that He taught.

It says LOVE HIM.

Love Him. It doesn´t say…acknowledge Him. It doesn´t say…think about Him every morning and sing about Him at church. It doesn´t say…obey Him. It doesn´t say…worship Him. It doesn´t even say…believe in Him with every fiber in your being. 

It says LOVE HIM.

The follow-up phrase drives the thought deeper. It describes a ridiculous level of loving. It articulates what true love requires. It depicts the passion-infused, life-consuming way in which He desires to be loved. Each mention of “ALL” seems to pierce our spiritual complacency…

"...with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, and ALL your mind."

My attention drifts, and then is drawn back. These words trouble me, but for some reason I can´t leave them alone. I realize that this verse intrigues and taunts me because it presents an impossibility. It shouts radicalness and depth of devotion that I am not only uncomfortable with, but completely incapable of.

Why in the world would He ask of us something that we are powerless to give?

Perhaps simply so that we would discover our need for the only One who makes impossible things possible. Love is the Truth, the Life, and the Only Way. This is what the greatest commandment DOES say!

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