This morning I read from Mark 12:28-34a, where a legal expert asked Jesus …
“Which commandment is the most important of all? Jesus replied, “The most important one is Israel, listen! Our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind and with all your strength.”  The second is this, “You will love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.”  The legal expert said to him, “Well said, teacher. You have truthfully said that God is one and there is no other besides him. And to love God with all of the heart, a full understanding, and all of one’s strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself is much more important than all kinds of entirely burned offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered with wisdom, he said to him, “You aren’t far from God’s kingdom.” (CEB)
In “Moby Dick,” Captain Ahab said, “No fear…. I like to feel something in this slippery world that can hold.”  In this crazy, slippery world, one thing does hold … Love! Christ calls us to “Love God with all of the heart … and all of one’s strength … and to love one’s neighbor as oneself.” Love is the algorithm (the path) that gives us “kingdom” traction and meaning and purpose per God’s original design. When we posture, or boast, or do good things for vanity’s sake, we are missing the point of love. Love is not self-serving … love always points at God. In fact, God is Love … so we are called to view every aspect of our existence through a lens of sacrifice and love for the sake of others. When love is projected in an unselfish manner, then the image of God will manifest as a well-focused light in our lives and the lives of those in the periphery. Romans 5:5 says, “…and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” Thus, Jesus showed us love that will not let us go … a love that holds … and Jesus calls us to love … Love God … Love our neighbor. And when we do, we too will hear, “You aren’t far from God’s Kingdom.”
Blessings & Peace!
Pastor E