Love is better2
“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
- Mark 12:32-34
Jesus’ radical perspective on the commandments landed on good soil in this week’s text. The teacher of the law heard what Jesus had to say and affirmed him. He responded with his own observations, extending what Jesus had said. And he showed wisdom.
Love is better than offerings and sacrifices. What a beautiful notion!
Love is better than singing or preaching.
Love is better than Bible study.
Love is better than sacraments.
Love is better than prayer.
Love is better than tithing.
Love is better than missions trips.
Love is better than community service.
There’s nothing wrong with any of these things. Offerings and sacrifices are fine – beautiful, actually – in their place. They are no substitute for love.
When Jesus brings his kingdom into our midst, love abounds. Not with saccharine sentimentality, but with joy-filled, wild, world-changing love. All the good we do in the world in the name of this particular King must be done in love.
Take a moment to pray for our service projects this weekend, asking God to fill everyone who’s serving with love for their fellow servants and with love for our clients. Who knows what God will do through us if we’re full of love?