34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment.
Today Nouwen challenges us as to which of the two commandments given to us by Jesus we treat as the greatest. Do we love God with all our heart, our soul, our mind? Or do we love our neighbours and fit God into what’s left over?
Talking to a friend also in the #adventbookclub, I was glad to find I wasn’t the only one finding some of this, well, challenging. The readings are short, but the thoughts it provokes are sometimes deep and, if the actions are followed properly, time-consuming.
Is the challenge perhaps fitting God in amongst the day job, caring for one’s fellow humans, worrying where the 0744 has got to? I am starting to think that perhaps it is. And that the answer isn’t just spending (say) another half an hour a day praying. Because the Great Commandment above doesn’t say love God with most of your heart/soul/mind – with the implication that our neighbours can fit in the gaps – it says all. The knack must be to do both at once, therefore – to love my neighbour, and in so loving him/her, reveal a bit of the love of God both to him/her and to myself.
Today’s prayer calls for us to remember that God loved the world so much he gave us his only Son, and that we should seek to repay that by making that love a reality. Lord, I pray that I, Richard, may seek to reflect your glory and grace to all around me.