Forming Faith Blog

The Church at Home: Love

Heart-shaped hands holding a candle in the dark. Love God, love others.

The reading for Sunday, March 22, 2020, is Mark 12:28-44. This covers several short stories but begins with the greatest commandment(s) and ends with the widow’s offering (or mite if you are more familiar with that).

In Mark 12:28-34, someone asked Jesus what was the most important commandment (rule). Jesus answered with two. Together, these summarize the way God wants us to live.

  1. Love God
  2. Love others

That’s it. It’s that simple. Unfortunately for us, simple is not the same as easy.

Two Commandments or One?

Why did Jesus “cheat” and answer with two commandments when the person only asked for one? That’s because the first commandment is incomplete without the second. Truly, we ought to put God first in all things. However, you cannot truly love God without loving others.

We love because he first loved us. Those 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. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

1 John 4:19-21

You can also see this in the passage often called the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats:

“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

Matthew 25:40
Practical Suggestions

So, how do you go about following these commandments? To start, know that you are going to fail. That’s just reality. But God loves and forgives you completely, no matter what you do. When you fail, take a deep breath, ask for forgiveness, and keep working at it.

  1. Loving God: This is where prayer and worship come in. Sing (or listen to praise music), dance, sit silently, read/listen to the Bible/sermon/devotion, pray on your own or with others (even over the phone or online).
  2. Loving others: Here is fellowship and service. Gather as a family or community, though right now that should be over the phone or online beyond who you live with. Talk with each other. Share caring conversations. Help those in need with a phone call to someone who might be lonely, some food to those who need it, a donation to a non-profit, even a call to a political representative to advocate for change.

When you download the free Sharing God’s Story @ Home devotional insert, linked below, you will have a resource to guide daily devotional time. Using this resource and your own creativity, design devotions for yourself and your family or friends. I will be providing this resource for free on a weekly basis, so check back at this blog each week!

I hope this will be helpful for you in the days ahead.

Peace and blessings be with you,

Gregory Rawn (Publisher)

Devotional Insert for 3/22 to 3/28

Daily Bible Readings online (Here you can subscribe to our daily Bible readings calendar so that you can see them on your electronic calendar.)