A brief word about our Gospel reading, from Matthew 22: vs 34-46: In this week’s message, a lawyer asks Jesus which is the greatest of God’s commandments. Jesus, quoting the Old Testament, says: ‘Love God, and love your neighbour as yourself’. A poignant message for today, in view of the battles being fought in the Holy Land.
In Matthew’s account, the final questions that Jesus faces focus on the command to love. Jesus describes no easy or sentimental love, but an overarching love that embraces all. We can consider what that means for us today and the challenges it presents in daily life.
The question asked of Jesus was not a complicated one. Verse 37 is the Shema, the central prayer of Judaism, found in Deuteronomy 6:4-5. Verse 39 is a summary, taken from Leviticus 19.18, of the law of Moses. Together, they are all that God’s people need to remember Love God; love your neighbour as yourself. The other laws, of which there are traditionally 613, unpack how to do this – but these two are the essence. Not complicated, but Jesus’ answer does, however, clarify to his hearers that he understands the written law to be important, more important than the later oral tradition. He is orthodox in his faith. As the people of God, loved by God, we are to love God, and to let this love overflow to others and ourselves. This is the choice we are to make.
Jesus’ return question is a little more complicated. Living in occupied territory, the people looked forward to the time when God would send a leader, a second Moses, to set them free once again. This leader, the Messiah, would be a descendant of King David. In several places elsewhere in his Gospel, Matthew has the title ‘Son of God’ attributed to Jesus (4:3, 6; 8:29; 14:33). This demonstrates the Messiah to be one who receives authority directly from God and not simply through the family line. (copyright in part @roots)
With love and prayers,
Our service on Sunday 29th October begins at 10.30 am. We look forward to welcoming back Rev Dr. K.Augustine-Ihm to preside and preach at our Eucharist and baptism service. Our organist and MD, Ollie Mills will accompany the hymns and lead the singing. Here are details of the readings and hymns for the service:
A prayer for Sunday 29th October
teach us to be faithful in change and uncertainty,
that trusting in your word
and obeying your will
we may enter the unfailing joy of Jesus Christ our Lord.
With our love and every blessing, Cate, Alison, and Jane x