Weekly Devotion for February 13, 2023
By Rev. Ebenezer Insor
“Thou shall love the Lord with all thy heart, and with all thy mind and with all thy soul…” Matthew 22:37-40
Beloved in Christ,
It is a great joy to share this devotion with you the week of the Valentine Day. With all the publicity that has been done to herald the week and the special day. It always feels like mini-Christmas with the token gifts and all that is shared in this often-spoken word of love, expressed by the symbol of the heart in color with all shades of red and the flower rose. Enough cannot be said about this word love in our secular or religious life as portrayed in its reflections in various ways. It often poses a challenge to us in its expression and practice of it.
Our greatest struggle has been limiting it to those we are familiar with or have come to know as friends over the years and have responded to their needs at different time as matter of convenience. It is more about living our faith in love in response to the first commandment as stated by Jesus in Matthew 22:27-40, “Thou shall love the Lord with all thy heart, and with all thy mind and with all thy soul and thy shall love thy neighbor as thyself.” That is one of the love scriptures we have heard throughout the centuries, but the challenge has been living this out in obedience to God. In our attempt to do this, our humanity gets in the way with our thoughts of who our neighbor is.
It is in the light of this that a reflection of the popular story of the “Good Samaritan” comes into mind. The star of this movie is the lawyer who approaches Jesus about how he can inherit eternal life. Through this parable, Jesus emphasizes the importance of unconditional love. So, the question here is which one would you rather be? The Priest, the Levite, the Samaritan, or the Inn keeper. This parable as simple as it may seem when read, becomes a challenge in practice as we often limit the sharing of love to those we know. We may think we know about this love until we are faced with the reality of its expression.
Thanks to Paul for his advice on how to live out this with these words from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
It is my fervent hope and prayer in our quest to fulfill our Christian calling with this prayer:
Gracious and merciful God, we thank you for blessing us with a special gift of love for us by sending your beloved son our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, through whom we have been saved. May we reflect such blessing in our lives as we share this love with each other in our service to the world to your glory. Amen.