Wednesday night I was running in the rain when all of a sudden God connected all of these scriptures in my head. It was like a bolt of lightening in my brain. I got so excited and stunned and "why did I not see that" that I completely forgot to run for a few minutes. I came to an abrupt standstill in the middle of the street, in the rain, as I contemplated this truth.
In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus is asked what's the greatest commandment to which he replies, "love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and all your strength. And the second is LIKE UNTO it. Love your neighbor as yourself."
As I meditated through that verse, I contemplated all those instructions about loving God. Love- how could it be that complex? Then I began to wonder about ways to demonstrate love to deity. How do you express your love to a such a being? Definitely through worship, adoration, and praise, but it seemed like God was showing me more. After all my husband loves me with his words and with his touch, but he also loves me by paying the bills and doing laundry and hanging out for a cup of coffee. Love is a many layered thing.
Then I thought through "the second is LIKE UNTO it" hmmm...reminds me of the "least of these" verse in Matthew 25. When we love the "least of these" we love Jesus. So loving our neighbor IS loving God. Who is our neighbor? That reminded me of the story of the good Samaritan. A man who showed us ministry to "the least of these."
The story of the good Samaritan reminded me of Jesus' meeting with the woman at the well. That reminded me that Jesus spent his ministry loving broken people.
All of this then raised the question, "how do I love my neighbor?" "how do I love the least of these?" that reminded me of all of the "one anothers" in scripture. "Put up with one another, forgive one another, exhort one another, pray for one another..." (there's bunches)
The "one anothers" are practical guides for how to love others. So here's my bottom line: practicing the one anothers toward the "least of these" is a Biblical way to show love to God.
Don't know if this makes much sense to anybody else, but the light sure came on in my head.