Sunday, October 21, 2018

self-giving love 10-21-2018

Worship on Sunday, October 21 …



In our series – “Loving God, Loving Others” – we dive deep in understanding the fullness of self-giving love, even as it expresses itself in the lives of Christian martyrs.


╬  “You are my friends!” What a blessing!  What a gift!  Jesus claims us as friends, in the fullest sense of the word.  In doing so he, reveals the true depth of “agape,” self-giving love.  To love with the whole self.  He goes so far as to express the last full measure of that love:  to give one’s life – literally and purposefully – for the sake of another.  Today we explore that depth of that love, as it is expressed in the life of Jesus, and as we see it lived in the lives of the “martyros.”

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings. 
God has reached to you in Christ and called you friends!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY ------------------------
God of all, in Christ you befriend us as your own.  And you call us to reach to others with that same love and friendship.  Inspire us to love in that self-giving way we see revealed in Jesus. Amen.

READINGS -------------------------------------
First Reading:  Revelation 6:9-11
9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered for the word of God and for the testimony they had given; 10 they cried out with a loud voice, "Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long will it be before you judge and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?" 11 They were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number would be complete both of their fellow servants and of their brothers and sisters, who were soon to be killed as they themselves had been killed.

Psalm 31:11-17
11 I am the scorn of all my adversaries, a horror to my neighbors, an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me.
12 I have passed out of mind like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel.
13 For I hear the whispering of many — terror all around! — as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.
14 But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, "You are my God."
15 My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors.
16 Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.
17 Do not let me be put to shame, O Lord, for I call on you;

Second Reading:  Acts 6:8-15
8 Stephen, full of grace and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. 9 Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and others of those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and argued with Stephen. 10 But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he spoke. 11 Then they secretly instigated some men to say, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God." 12 They stirred up the people as well as the elders and the scribes; then they suddenly confronted him, seized him, and brought him before the council. 13 They set up false witnesses who said, "This man never stops saying things against this holy place and the law; 14 for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed on to us." 15 And all who sat in the council looked intently at him, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel.

Gospel:  John 15:12-17
12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

My chosen one … in whom is all my delight

Worship on Sunday, October 14 …

Our series – “Loving God, Loving Others” – comes to the crucial point:  it all begins with loving ourselves!




╬  “My chosen one … in whom is all my delight.” - Isaiah 42:1  We know these words.  We remember them from the prophets, speaking about God’s “anointed one.”  We remember them spoken by God over Jesus, at his baptism, at his transfiguration.  Yet we often balk at the idea of them being spoken over us.  The fact is, God does speak them over us, in our baptism, in claiming us as “God’s-own,” blessed and beloved.  The truth is, fulfilling God’s calling to love others begins there:  with accepting ourselves as God’s own, chosen, God’s delight!  Loving others begins with loving ourselves, or it really can’t begin at all.


Here is a bulletin cover image.  Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.  Sermon and Reflection Slides are attached.

I love you, and God does, too!  What about you?

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org


PRAYER OF THE DAY ------------------------

God of all, you call us to love you by loving others with our whole selves.  And yet we cannot begin except from a place of love.  Help us to accept ourselves in love, that same love you pour over us in claiming us as your own. Amen.

READINGS ---------------------------------

First Reading:  Joel 2:12-1
12Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; 13rend your hearts and not your clothing. Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing. 14Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him, a grain offering and a drink offering for the LORD, your God.

Psalm 16
1 Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the LORD, "You are my LORD; I have no good apart from you."
3 As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble, in whom is all my delight.
4 Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names upon my lips.
5 The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage.
7 I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure.
10 For you do not give me up to Sheol, or let your faithful one see the Pit.
11 You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Second Reading:  1 John 4:7-21
7Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. 10In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.  13By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. 15God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. 16So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.  God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. 17Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. 18There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20Those who say, "I love God," and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. 21The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

Gospel:  Matthew 22:34-40
34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" 37 He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

Monday, October 8, 2018

loving God with all our STRENGTH

Worship on Sunday, October 7 …


Our series – “Loving God, Loving Others” – brings us to loving God with all our STRENGTH!




╬  “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.” - Ephesians 6:10-11 

When Jesus calls us to love, it is to love with our whole being.  That includes not only our spiritual, mental and emotional capacities, but also our sheer strength and physicality.  Our strength – the gifts and abilities, the physical power we wield – is a vital part of this whole response.  In addition to the wisdom and creativity and passion for God’s calling, there is the embodying, the “enfleshing” of that calling.  Strength addresses the “doing” of what God is about.  But strength is more than just muscle and sinew; it is conviction, character and commitment to justice, as well.  Sometimes it is defending the poor and the powerless.  Sometimes it is patient endurance.  Today we engage strength in all its forms, as it is manifest in us, and as it flows into us from God.

Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings. 

I look forward to our gathering and worship together!

- Pr. Brad Highum

bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY ----------------------
God of all, you call us to love with our whole selves.  Our bodies, our strengths and capacities are gifts from you and we give you thanks.  Teach us to express your love in all that we say and do.  And help us to find our true strength in you, the source of all life and goodness, as we follow the One you send to lead us into new days, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

READINGS ----------------------------------

First Reading:  Isaiah 40:25-31
25 To whom then will you compare me, or who is my equal? says the Holy One.  26 Lift up your eyes on high and see:  Who created these?  He who brings out their host and numbers them, calling them all by name; because he is great in strength, mighty in power, not one is missing.  27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God"?  28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.  29 He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless.  30 Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; 31 but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Psalm 84:4-12
4 Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise.
5 Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6 As they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion.
8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob!
9 Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed.
10 For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you.

Second Reading:  1 Corinthians 1:20-31

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, 23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God's weakness is stronger than human strength.  26 Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, 29 so that no one might boast in the presence of God. 30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 in order that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."

Gospel:  Luke 21:29-36
29 Then he told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees; 30 as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.  34 "Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly, 35 like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Be transformed by the renewing of your minds

Worship on Sunday, September 30 …

We continue in our series – “Loving God, Loving Others” – turning our attention to loving God with the whole of our minds.


╬  “Be transformed by the renewing of your minds!”  It’s one of the most compelling invitations in all of Scripture.  And it shows the capacity God has crafted in each of us in the astounding power of intellect!  We have been given minds with which to explore and understand the world, in its infinite and infinitesimal wonder.  To know ourselves and to delve in the deeper truths of being.  To make meaning of life, to dream and imagine, to create.  God invites us to love with the whole of this amazing capacity of mind … to love God and to love others.  And God encourages us that we can be transformed, to know in new and deeper ways, by the continual renewal of our minds centered in that love.



Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings. 
I look forward to our gathering and worship together!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY --------------------

God of all, by the power of your Spirit, continue to refresh and renew our minds, that we may know and love you more completely, to know and love one another more deeply, and to live as your transformed people in the world you love.  Amen.

READINGS --------------------------------

First Reading:  1 Kings 3:9-14
9 Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?"  10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 God said to him, "Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 I now do according to your word. Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you. 13 I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor all your life; no other king shall compare with you. 14 If you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your life."

Psalm 77:11-15
11 I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord; I will remember your wonders of old.
12 I will meditate on all your work, and muse on your mighty deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy.  What god is so great as our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders; you have displayed your might among the peoples.
15 With your strong arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

Second Reading:  Romans 11:33-12:2
33 O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!  34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord?  Or who has been his counselor?"  35 "Or who has given a gift to him, to receive a gift in return?"  36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.  12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God — what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Gospel:  Mark 3:19-27
Then he went home; 20 and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. 21 When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, "He has gone out of his mind." 22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, "He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons." 23 And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. 27 But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.





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Sunday, September 23, 2018

love God with all our soul

SUNDAY we move forward in our series “Loving God, Loving Others” as we explore what it means to love God with “all our soul.”

╬  “My soul proclaims your greatness, O God!”  An exclamation from Mary, the mother of Jesus, in response to an astounding revelation from God.  She will bear God’s Christ into the world!  She cannot contain her joy and wonder, and begins to praise God form the depths of her being … from her very soul!  In simplest terms, we humans understand our selves as “body and soul.”  We experience life embodied, but we know ourselves to be far more.  God has breathed spirit within us and created us as unique souls, in ways that even transcend bodiliness.  And God invites us to love – to love God, to love others, to love the world God has made – with the whole of ourselves, from our very souls.



 Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.  

 Let us love God and God’s creation with our true selves, as uniquely crafted and blessed souls!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY ------------------------
God of creation, you breathe the spirit of life into us and kindle our very souls into being.  Help us to find you at the deepest level of ourselves and to live from there:  in you, with you, for you.  Amen.

READINGS ------------------------------------

 First Reading:  Deuteronomy 4:25-31
25 When you have had children and children's children, and become complacent in the land, if you act corruptly by making an idol in the form of anything, thus doing what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, and provoking him to anger, 26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today that you will soon utterly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to occupy; you will not live long on it, but will be utterly destroyed. 27 The Lord will scatter you among the peoples; only a few of you will be left among the nations where the Lord will lead you. 28 There you will serve other gods made by human hands, objects of wood and stone that neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. 29 From there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and soul. 30 In your distress, when all these things have happened to you in time to come, you will return to the Lord your God and heed him. 31 Because the Lord your God is a merciful God, he will neither abandon you nor destroy you; he will not forget the covenant with your ancestors that he swore to them.

Psalm 63:1-8
1 O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name.
5 My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
6 when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
7 for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
8 My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

Second Reading:  Acts 2:22-28
22 "You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know — 23 this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. 24 But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. 25 For David says concerning him, 'I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken; 26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will live in hope.  27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One experience corruption.  28 You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.'

Gospel:  Matthew 16:21-28
21 From that time Jesus began to show to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.  22 Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "Far be it from you, Lord; this shall not happen to you!" 23 But Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are an offense to me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?  Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of his Father with His angels, and then he will reward each according to his works.  28 Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom."

Sunday, September 16, 2018

God’s call to love with our whole hearts

THIS SUNDAY we move ahead in our series “Loving God, Loving Others” as we unpack God’s call to love with our whole hearts.


╬  “Loving God, Loving Others!”  The calling to love God with the whole of our being is central to Jesus’ life and teaching.  He draws upon the ancient wisdom tradition of Moses in proclaiming the “greatest commandment”:  to love God with all that we are, loving others as we would be loved ourselves.  That’s heart, soul, mind and strength.  To love with our whole hearts is the calling to unlock the emotional love metaphorically seated in the “heart” of our being.  The heart symbolizes the life dwelling in the body.  Heart love is the capacity to connect deeply and empathetically with something or someone beyond us; perhaps to give another greater priority then our very selves.



Below are the Prayer of the Day and Readings.  

Let’s gather in worship to celebrate heart love as a gift from God!

- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY -----------------------------------------------

God of all, open our hearts to share the love that you have planted and nourished there.  Set us free to love you whole-heartedly and so to love others and your creation.  Amen.

READINGS ----------------------------------------------------------

First Reading:  Leviticus 19:17-18
17 You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself. 18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

Psalm 51:1-2,6-7,10-12
1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
6 You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.


Second Reading:  Acts 2:22-28
22 "You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know — 23 this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. 24 But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. 25 For David says concerning him, 'I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken; 26 therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will live in hope.
27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One experience corruption.  28 You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.'

Gospel:  John 14:26-31
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. 28 You heard me say to you, 'I am going away, and I am coming to you.' If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. 30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; 31 but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Hear O Israel Sept 9, 2018

Worship on Sunday, September 9 …

It’s Rally Day and our Service Sunday!  AND we begin an new series in worship focusing on “Loving God/Loving Others!”


 “Hear, O Israel!”  

╬  The calling to love God with the whole of our being is the foundation of Biblical tradition and practice.  It is central to Jesus’ ministry.  Jesus teaches this love in a variety of different contexts in the Gospels as “the greatest commandment” and as “the key to inheriting eternal life.”  In Jesus’ spiritual heritage, it is the morning prayer of the Israelites: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.  You shall love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)  Just as it was in Jesus’ time, this is the essential calling of God upon our lives today.  When he teaches on this truth, Jesus always connects it with loving others … “love your neighbor as yourself.” For him, the two are inextricably linked:  we love God best when we love others as we would be loved ourselves.



Readings and the Prayer of the Day are below.

Blessings to all!
- Pr. Brad Highum
bhighum@abidinglove.org

PRAYER OF THE DAY -------------------
God of grace, your calling on us is to love. Teach us to love with the whole of our being. Teach us to love as we have first been loved, in Christ.  Amen.

READINGS --------------------------------

First Reading:  Deuteronomy 6:1-9
6:1 Now this is the commandment — the statutes and the ordinances — that the Lord your God charged me to teach you to observe in the land that you are about to cross into and occupy, 2 so that you and your children and your children's children may fear the Lord your God all the days of your life, and keep all his decrees and his commandments that I am commanding you, so that your days may be long. 3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe them diligently, so that it may go well with you, and so that you may multiply greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has promised you.  4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6 Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7 Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, 9 and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Psalm 119:33-40
33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, and I will observe it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart.
35 Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.
36 Turn my heart to your decrees, and not to selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes from looking at vanities; give me life in your ways.
38 Confirm to your servant your promise, which is for those who fear you.
39 Turn away the disgrace that I dread, for your ordinances are good.
40 See, I have longed for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life.

Second Reading:  Romans 13:8-10
8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet"; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, "Love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

Gospel:  Mark 12:28-34
28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that Jesus answered them well, the scribe asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?" 29 Jesus answered, "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30 you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' 31 The second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." 32 Then the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that 'he is one, and besides him there is no other'; 33 and 'to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,' and 'to love one's neighbor as oneself,' — this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." 34 When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." After that no one dared to ask him any question.