Daily Devotion 26 August 2020

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

Matthew 22:34-39 ‘The Great Commandment’

34 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they came together, 35 and one of them, a teacher of the Law, tried to trap him with a question. 36 “Teacher,” he asked, “which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and the most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’

A Modern Parable

Once upon a time there were two little ears who grew up hearing about God, their heavenly Father and Jesus who was their friend. They heard about the two greatest commandments but thought, ‘we are only ears, how can we love our neighbours?’. Then the eyes found they could not see very well and needed glasses. ‘We will help you’, said the ears. ‘You can hook your glasses’ frames round us’, and ‘I’ll help too’, said the nose. The eyes were very happy and so were the ears and nose as they realised they were helping a neighbour. Later the ears found they could not hear very well and needed hearing aids. ‘Don’t worry’, they said to the eyes, ‘there’s room for our aids and your frames’. Perhaps, they thought, we are loving our neighbour as we love ourselves. Time went on and the nose and mouth wanted protection from the coronavirus. ‘It’s alright’, said the ears, ‘we will make room for your mask loops too’. The ears were pleased to help yet more neighbours.

Whilst they were pleased to show they loved their neighbours, the ears were worried that they weren’t showing that they loved God, which they knew was the first commandment. ‘Yes, you are’, said the eyes. ‘We have read that you show you love God if you do what he commands and you are doing that’. The ears and nose were pleased that their love of God was seen in the way they helped their neighbours, but that worried the eyes and mouth who said, ‘you are helping us but we are not helping at all’. Then the mouth remembered, ‘I’ve sung about that, we have to ask God to make us humble enough to accept help and just appreciate the love others show us and thank God for them’. So the ears and nose and eyes and mouth were all happy and joined in praising God in the hymn:

Brother, sister, let me serve you,
let me be as Christ to you;
pray that I may have the grace
to let you be my servant too.

We are pilgrims on a journey,
and companions on the road;
we are here to help each other
walk the mile and bear the load.

Prayer:

Thank you, Lord, for all our neighbours, those who help us and those we help.
We ask you to help us reflect your love in all we do and think and say.
In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.

Reflection and Prayer © 2020 Gillian Wood.
Image freely available.

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All material within this order of worship is reproduced by permission under CCL 1226356