By: Bobot Apit Apr 1, 2011 - Friday Meditation (Bow Down and Worship the LORD!) Come to know who God is! Get in touch with his covenant love and faithfulness! See how deeply committed he is to you! If you can grasp this, you will almost naturally bow down in worship and put all your energy into loving God. And as you experience God’s love and mercy —as you get to know him as a friend—you can’t help but see how deeply God loves all his other children. Friday in the Third Week of Lent Hosea 14:2-10 Psalm 81:6c-8a, 8bc-9, 10-11ab, 14+17 Mark 12:28-34 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?" 29 Jesus answered, "The first is, `Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' 31 The second is this, `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." 32 And the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he; 33 and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God ." And after that no one dared to ask him any question. Meditation “Hear, O Israel ! The Lord our God is Lord alone!” (Mark 12:29) “Which is the first of all the commandments?” asks the scribe (Mark 12:28). He is looking for the key, a simple principle on which to hang all the other rules. A questioner in a different setting asks the same question in a different way: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25). What is the one thing I can attend to so conscientiously that it will guarantee me entrance into God’s kingdom? This is a familiar passage. We know Jesus’ answer. He tells the scribe what he must do: Love God. Love your neighbor. But that isn’t where he begins. Instead, Jesus begins where God told Moses to begin, with the words every Jew committed to memory as a small child: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone!” (Deuteronomy 6:4). Come to know who God is! Get in touch with his covenant love and faithfulness! See how deeply committed he is to you! If you can grasp this, you will almost naturally bow down in worship and put all your energy into loving God. And as you experience God’s love and mercy —as you get to know him as a friend—you can’t help but see how deeply God loves all his other children. Catching even a glimpse of God’s love for others shows you that loving your neighbor is the most natural thing in the world. Does it feel as if you’re not making all that much progress this Lent? Rather than just gritting your teeth and trying harder, take a different approach. Stop, look, and listen. Slow down, spend time in God’s presence, and let him speak to you and lift you up. Maybe read a couple of psalms slowly (Psalms 23, 63, 3, 118, 136, for example). Let them remind you how great God is and how much he has done for you. Do this, and love will well up within you. Do it, and you’ll find it easier to love God and follow his ways. Do it, and you’ll find a greater compassion in your heart for those around you. If you take the time to hear, you will find it easier to obey! “Father, you alone are Lord. Let your Spirit rise up in me, filling me with love for you and love for every neighbor.”
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