The two greatest commandments.
'Which commandment is the first of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘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 neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’
- Mark 12: 28-31, from full reading Mark 12: 23-34.
Rules can be helpful and although sometimes we can find them frustrating - and even try to bend or break them - we must be honest and admit that we need them. However, rules can be consuming and complicated. Whether trying to navigate through a website in an attempt to make an application, or as we play what superficially appears to be an easy board game, they are rarely straightforward. We do need rules, though, and as there is no shortage of them in the world, how often do you take time and consciously decide the rules to which you give priority?
In our reading today, Jesus becomes engaged in a conversation about rules as the scribe asks questions of priority and importance. Perhaps the lack of argument and debate takes you by surprise, as consensus is quickly achieved. Think of the impact in this world if these two rules were applied in all places and at all times. The work of Christian Aid gives a glimpse as it strives to apply these rules. If more followed this example, think how this could make an even bigger change in places like Syria, where more than 5.2 million people are now refugees.
Will you give priority to these two commandments today?
How close are you to the kingdom of God?
…and what about tomorrow?
Through Jesus you have shown me what I need to do.
Enable me to focus on what you require
and equip me to put this into action.
Ensure I am never far from your kingdom.
Make others see and follow the example of Christian Aid
so in places like Syria people can be free
to be the people you want them to be.
Today’s contributor is the Rev David M Scott, a minister of the United Reformed Church serving at Duke Street and Saughtonhall Churches, Edinburgh.
Published on 04 November 2018