Love at the Center

When challenged by the leaders of his time about what was the most important commandment, Jesus replied, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 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.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

The entire work of God is based on who God is. 1 John tells us that “God is love.” It isn’t just that God loves – God IS love. The essence of God’s identity is love itself. All that God does, not only expresses love, it is truly grounded in love. 

When the scribe asks Jesus about the most important, greatest commandment, he’s really asking what the central message of the entire Old Testament is – that’s the scriptures they had at the time. Jesus’ reply is that it’s all about love.

This message is unchanging. God is who God is and does what God does out of love. The coming of Jesus means that “love has come down.” The God who rules the heavens with love and who created the world with love, now comes to embody love in our midst. In the cross and resurrection of Jesus, love wins!

This is why we gather as God’s people. Jesus, love in the flesh, comes into our midst to love us and fill us with the love of God. We then go forth, reminded of our identity and calling to love the world, to take the love we have received and spread it as far and wide as we can.

 Have you watched the news lately? The world needs what we’ve got!

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