According to Mark’s Gospel, on Tuesday of Holy Week Jesus engaged in a series of debates with various religious leaders who were out to get him; in the midst of those debates one biblical expert approached Jesus with a sincerely interested and non-skeptical question: “Which commandment is the first of all?”
Jesus responded, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Let’s put ourselves in the place of that inquisitive expert.
Cause us to want to know—really to know—what it is means to follow, love, and serve you.
Cause us to listen to Jesus’ answer, to process it, and to ponder it.
Cause us to be compelled to love you by giving ourselves over in service to you and to love others by giving ourselves over in service to them.
Cause us to know that only through love, in love, and by love do we live as your people.