Despite various technological problems as we climb the steep curve of learning to livestream, it was good to meet together this morning and share in Communion. Stephen spoke to us from Mark 12:30, which tells us, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
It’s very easy to stop our reading at ‘Love the Lord your God’ – which is an important message for us all, but we need to look at the ‘how’ outlined in this verse. The soul is a critical part of our lives but is often hard to define; strength can be interpreted in different ways (physical, emotional, mental strength), but today, Stephen focussed on us uniting our heart and mind in our love for God.
Many of us find we are ‘head’ people, who rely on reason and knowledge to guide us, who are sensible and think things through logically and rationally. Others are more ‘heart’ people, focussing on emotion, kindness and compassion and being caring, adaptive and sensitive. Physically our head and our heart may be only about 50 cm apart, but often the distance between our head and our heart can seem more like a vast chasm! Sometimes we feel torn, as if reason takes us one way and emotion takes us in the opposite direction. We need to integrate both our heart and our head to love God whole-heartedly.
One of the key aspects of this verse is the repetition of the word ‘all’. God wants us to love Him with all that we are. It is sobering to remind ourselves that even in these difficult times, our love for God needs to be whole-hearted, bringing together every part of our being in love and worship before anything else. Only then will we know the completeness and integrity God wants for us all.