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At OBC, we’ve been considering the greatest commandment, found in the gospel of Matthew, chapter 22.
In two parts, Jesus challenges the hearer to love God with their whole being, and to love their neighbour as themselves. Along this journey, I’ve been increasingly asking myself how I might embody these two commands more faithfully as I exit lockdown and return to this new semblance of normality.
Beyond a desire to honour God with everything I have, there’s the wider invitation to consider the daily questions that impact my everyday life: Will I live with a heightened sense of conscientiousness so that others might feel at ease in my presence? With an increasingly intentional love for those across all parts of my community? With a greater appreciation for those who, in the face of great challenge, work tirelessly to help others? And, importantly, with a genuine, loving grace for those who perhaps don’t quite measure up to the new standards of etiquette or expectation that our current, contemporary society demands?
You see, there’s a reason that love, as God intends, is supernatural. It demands of us that we go beyond ourselves, live a life of sacrifice and a life of loving grace towards everyone around us. Everyone, without exception.
That’s why we’re invited to love God first… because it’s only out of that place that we can live out this level of supernatural love – a love that our world today so desperately needs.
Help me, God, to grow in this, I pray, Amen.
Reverend Stuart Lawson, Oban Baptist Church