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

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.