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Love That Won't Let Go

On this Friday of the third week of Lent, we reflect on the Great Commandment in Mark 12, and are reminded of the importance of loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, as well as loving our neighbors as ourselves. This is the cornerstone of the Christian faith, and it is a powerful reminder of the love that we should have for everyone around us.

In this passage, Jesus affirms that the most important commandment is to love God with all our being. This means that we should put God first in everything we do, and that our love for Him should be the foundation of our lives. We should seek to know Him better through prayer and study, and we should seek to follow His will in all things.

But Jesus doesn't stop there. He also tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. This means that we should treat others with the same love and respect that we would want for ourselves. We should be kind and compassionate, and we should seek to meet the needs of those around us.

It's easy to love those who are like us or who we get along with. But Jesus challenges us to love everyone, even those who are different from us or who we may not like very much. This is a powerful message, and it is one that is as relevant today as it was when Jesus first spoke these words. In fact, if all who claim to follow Jesus would work on keeping this commandment in our daily lives, most of the world’s ills would be resolved - stop and think on that for a moment.

“The kingdom is not an exclusive, well-trimmed suburb with snobbish rules about who can live there. No, it is for a larger, homelier, less self-conscious caste of people who understand they are sinners because they have experienced the yaw and pitch of moral struggle.”

-Brennan Manning

Interestingly, in the same passage, Jesus also commends a Pharisee who asks Him which is the greatest commandment. This is significant because the Pharisees were often criticized by Jesus for their legalism and lack of love. But in this instance, the Pharisee shows that he is close to the kingdom of God by recognizing the importance of loving God and loving others. Jesus knew he lacked but one thing – the faith to deny himself and follow Him.

As we reflect on this passage, we are challenged to love everyone around us, even those who are difficult to love with a love that won't let go when we notice they aren't like us. Let us consider if we are close we are to the kingdom of God or in the kingdom. The kingdom of God is a place of unconditional love. We are called to follow Jesus' example of showing love and compassion to all, regardless of who they are or what they are like. And as we do so, we will be fulfilling the greatest commandment, and we will be living out the love that God has shown us.

Shalom for a holy Lent,

Pastor Brad

Prayer: Father, teach us to love others as you love. You showed your great love for us by sending Jesus to suffer and die for us while we were yet sinners. Help us to sacrifice our personal biases for the sake of love, and to see others as you see them, and to love them as you love them, as we reach out to a broken world. Amen.

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About Me

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Hi! Thanks for learning a little more about me and my journey.

I am an ordained presbyter in the Church of the Nazarene, and in my ministry, I work with churches and individuals from all denominations. I also currently serve as Pastor of The Udall Methodist Church, an independent church in Udall, Kansas, and Grandview UMC in Winfield, KS and as Care Coordinator for the Cozine Memorial Group.


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