“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
– Matthew 22:37-40 (ESV)
Love God and love people. This is the sum of the Old Testament. This is what God expects of us, what he calls us to do. This is what life is all about. But it is so easy to get distracted, and we need to regularly refocus.
Life is not about amassing wealth. It is not about consuming. It is not about power or control. It is not about fame or popularity. It is not about comfort or ease. It is not about pleasure. It is not about defining ourselves, but rather denying ourselves to love God and people.
Life is not even about the myriad of things we do on any given day. Not that those things are necessarily wrong, but they are only the settings in which we are to love. They are the contexts of love. In our families and friendships, at our job or school, in our recreation or sports – these are all contexts for us to express our love for God and our love for people. Love is central.
And so we need to regularly refocus. We need to ask questions: How can I show love to God today in my family, my job, my school, my play, my church? How can I show love today to my spouse, my children, my co-workers, my classmates, my neighbors?
And we need to constantly be looking for opportunities to love throughout the day – in our daily routines and in the interruptions to our routines.
We need to refocus on what is really important: loving God and loving people. May God help us to grow in this love this week.