The Message Translation
34-36 When the Pharisees heard how he had bested the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault. One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up: “Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?”
37-40 Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”
41-42 As the Pharisees were regrouping, Jesus caught them off balance with his own test question: “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said, “David’s son.”
43-45 Jesus replied, “Well, if the Christ is David’s son, how do you explain that David, under inspiration, named Christ his ‘Master’?
God said to my Master, “Sit here at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.”
“Now if David calls him ‘Master,’ how can he at the same time be his son?”
46 That stumped them, literalists that they were. Unwilling to risk losing face again in one of these public verbal exchanges, they quit asking questions for good.
Thoughts from John: One theologian puts it this way:
“True salvation in Jesus the Messiah is not and never has been about believing the right things so that we go to heaven when we die while others suffer in hell. Salvation refers to a new way of being human such that our law and religion - our cultural pillars - are among our human “things” that are redeemed from violence.”
And when we need imagination for what this way looks like, the life of Jesus, the God-Man, is our model.
Outward Mindset Application
Adjust something you are doing today to be more helpful toward others.
Pathways Toward Centeredness
Traditionalism (Loving God through ritual and symbol):
Many religious traditions experience fasting as a pathway into communion with God. This week, each time you experience a sensation of hunger, reflect for 20 seconds on what it means to be a person with need.
Questions for Reflection
Who are the people whose lives have influenced your definition of “love?”
What is one way you wish people in the world would learn to love better?
“Liturgy” refers to the habits and practices humans use to form community around shared values and meaning. At Church at the Park, we desire to be a community of practice, becoming people who see the world through the eyes of the marginalized, making meaning through the lens of pain and suffering, and committing ourselves to non-violence in a wounded world. This weekly email is intended to provide pathways of practice for becoming the type of people who embody these values.
Many of our reflections on each week's text come from other sources. If you're interested in reading more of what inspires us, here our our two favorite reflections.
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