Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost
It’s About Relationships
The passage from Matthew 22:34–46 recounts a dialogue between Jesus and a group of Pharisees, in which one of them asks Jesus which is the greatest commandment in the Law. Jesus responds by quoting two passages from the Old Testament: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
I am a bottom-line person and could leave us with, So love God and everyone. But I will continue. It’s all about relationships. Our relationship with God. We do this through time in worship and prayer, and being still, listening for what God is saying to us. Understanding who God is and who God means for us to be. Who God has meant for us to be is so different from who society tells us we are. Loving our God and knowing how much God loves us.
Once we have that knowledge, the second part is easy: loving others and doing what we can to show them God’s love. It may be as easy as a smile or as big as leaving money to the church or another organization that provides for the needs of others. We might listen to someone who is different than us to understand their point of view. Sharing little gestures and big ones, depending on what we have to give. Remembering “Love” is a verb. As we have heard from the pulpit, give of our time, talent, and treasures.
Jesus’ message in this passage is simple: love is what God commands of us. God’s law is Love. May we be intentional in our words and actions, to allow God’s love to flow through each of us every day. Amen.
Valerie Wagner, Waconia, Minnesota, lay member
Northern Provincial Elders’ Conference, 2018–23