Action Zones 

LISTEN! LOVE! SHEMA part two 

Jesus used and taught the Shema as the most important way of living for God.  He added a second command to love in the same way our neighbour and ourselves.   Let me offer a few thoughts about how living and loving this way might affect us and the way we do church.  See what you think
 
How does our worship affirm and respond to this?

  • That there is ONE   The Lord is One. I love this and wonder if we can therefore worry less about who believes the right way, the right things etc and just acknowledge the Lord in everyone.
  • This should at least make us think of our friends who follow other faiths as seeking to serve the same God as there is only ONE!
  • HEART, SOUL, MIND, STRENGTHResponding in love with all our hearts?  We are by nature vulnerable, open hearted, emotional, enthusiastic – Jesus was!
  • And if our hearts are hurting then bring that to worship too
  • Responding in love with all our souls? Biblically, people don't have a soul—they are a soul. They are a "nephesh", a living, breathing, physical being. In the Shema, to love the Lord with your soul is to offer your entire being.Whatever enlivens us we can love God with.Our sport, our art, our music, our caring for creation…..
  • Respondent in love with all our minds?Another Jewish tradition is to learn by questioning.Think, question, doubt, puzzle…. Just like in the Psalms
  • Responding in love with all our strength?We might not feel we are very strong, especially as we grow older or are wiped out with responsibilities.But we can put legs on our prayers, we can put our energy into listening and loving even if it means less being religious or ticking our faith boxes
  • Responding in love for others? How else can we show our love for God than by loving those he loves?That’s everyone, right? And if we are listening and loving God we may just look him in the eyes, sense him the gaze, hold his hand and he holding ours ….
  • Responding in love for ourselves? Valuing ourselves and respecting the spirit of God in our own life might mean giving ourselves the time we need to rest.It might mean listening to our own emotions and responding with grace.It might mean we have to reorder the way we do church.We could decide together that if we want to love others closer to G-d we need to make sure that our being church is less busy, more fun and cuts out things that just get in the way

         Shalom

Rev Donna Dodson
Associate Methodist Minister, based at Magdalen Way Methodist Church

image courtesy of Rev Donna Dodson



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