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Thursday, March 4

Deuteronomy 6:1-9 (NRSV)
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.

Deuteronomy 6:1-9 reminds us of one of, if not the most, important things we should be doing as Christians: loving God. It reminds us to keep this commandment on our hearts daily and to tell others about it. We love God because we recognize and appreciate all He has done for us.

I think that loving God can be expressed in so many ways. Loving God is standing up for the outcasts and being kind to everyone. Loving God is giving to a charity or volunteering in our communities to make a difference. Loving God is forgiving others even when it might be really, really hard to. Loving God is doing the right thing even if no one is watching. By doing these things and so many other loving actions, we are showing our love for God.

In the Christian community, we all love God. Because of this, our community is different from other communities in our world. Personally, I find that when I go to church, youth group, or any other place where Christians come together in fellowship, it feels special. I feel like they accept me and love me just the way I am, and that I can be myself. I feel like I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not just to “fit in” and that I am deeply cared for. This is because of our love for God. If you love God, you are going to love the people around you more naturally and easily. This is what this passage is reminding us to do. Love God with everything you have, and you will naturally show love towards the world.

Dear Lord, thank you so much for your community. Thank you for teaching us to love you, and by doing that teaching us to love others. As we go through the rest of this week, we pray that you would help us to love you more deeply, and to use that love for you in order to love others and to build our community. It is in your name we pray, Amen.

Emma Staeger