With all our hearts and all our souls and all our minds…

What a great time we all had at the parish picnic! The weather was picture perfect, and the food was delicious. What a great time to celebrate the love of God in the natural beauty that surrounded us at Hills Creek Lake. Thanks, everyone for such a wonderful day!

This week’s reading features a lawyer that wants to know from Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life (see Luke 10: 25-37). Our Lord asks him what he thinks are the important things in the law and the prophets. It is the lawyer who comes up with what we know as the summary of the Law: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” While we may not know enough about the Old Testament to fully appreciate how his response is a fusion of Deuteronomy 6: 4-5 and Leviticus 19:18, yet we may do well to note that the ethic of Jesus’ kingdom is based on the principle that acts of love matter.

Acts of love do matter. It seems to me these days that we are apt to focus on the importance of loving our neighbor and the aspect of social action as a fundamental part of Christian living; culturally, we have a tendency to play down the importance of such things as prayer and corporate worship (worship together such as on a Sunday Morning) as equally important and essential to living to the fullness of God in Jesus Christ. Maybe it is close to the opposite of the lawyer’s question as to who is his neighbor—we tend to get that part! It is the worship of God that seems to be the optional part these days.

There is an important value to worship. Where we neglect it, the human spirit turns inward, self focused, self preoccupied. Worship lifts us from the hell of being solely focused on ourselves without having the hope of redemption or grace. While I like music, I sometimes find it tiresome to listen to what’s produced by many contemporary singer/songwriters whose musical tune and lyrics all boil down to one message—to wit—it’s all about me, me, me. me, me.

What must we do to inherit eternal life? Yes, we must love our neighbors as ourselves. But yet and yes, too, we must learn to love God with all our hearts and all our souls and all our minds.

Grace and peace be with you,

Canon Greg+



About canongreg

I have been Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Wellsboro, PA since 1994.
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