Our scripture this week is Matthew 22:34-46.
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” “The son of David,” they replied. He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says, “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”’ If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?” No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Jesus repeats these familiar words to the Pharisees, part of a prayer called the Shema, originally found in Deuteronomy 6:5, recited morning and evening by faithful Jews since the time of Moses. This would have resonated with those listening as part of their faith heritage, part of their daily devotions for all their lives.
Yet for all their piety, these religious leaders did not seem to understand the law was for much more than just daily repetition. They knew the law and used it to keep the people in line, maintaining their hold on power, but they did not live the law as God intended. They prayed with their lips but not with their hearts.
Do we fall into the same pattern? Is our faith something we pull out for Sunday and then put away until the next week? God wants us in relationship with Him always and forever. That means making Him part of our daily lives, not just when we walk into church. Take the Lord with you wherever you are today and see Him make a difference in your life.
Gracious God, we are sorry to ignore Your love and Your law, using them only when it’s convenient for us. Help us to live for You every day, sharing Your love with all the world. Amen.