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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, November 9, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Deuteronomy 6:1–9

Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the ordinances—that the Lord your God charged me to teach you to observe in the land that you are about to cross into and occupy, so that you and your children and your children’s children, may fear the Lord your God all the days of your life, and keep all his decrees and his commandments that I am commanding you, so that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe them diligently, so that it may go well with you, and so that you may multiply greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has promised you.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (NRSV)

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.

It’s been awhile since I focused my attention on one commandment in particular, especially this great commandment. It leads me to ask: What does it look like in our lives to love God with all our heart, soul, and might? How do I practice this unconsciously? How can I more consciously love God profoundly in my daily life?

If you’re reading this over your morning coffee and have access to a pen and paper, doodle out some of your thoughts to these questions. If you’re reading this on the train or on the go and only have your mind, think about how you’d answer these questions.

Could you come up with one new thought or idea you could practice today? As I was engaging these questions myself, I came up with “trusting my body.” I’m currently pregnant and as a Type A person, I’ve been absorbed in research, practices, and discipline to help this little baby grow and to prepare for the birth. My over-planning is definitely related to my desire to have control over an uncontrollable, yet miraculous experience of growing a new life. When I think about loving God physically—with my heart, soul, and might—I’m reminded of how God created me physically in my mother’s womb. God’s got this! God has prepared my body to do what countless female-bodied humans have done and continue to do. As I seek to love God deeper today, I’m going to love what God has made and formed ready—my body. How can you love God more deeply today?

Thank you for how you love us more deeply than we can understand. Help us to reciprocate, God. Amen.

Written by Abbi Heimach-Snipes, Pastoral Resident

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