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Deuteronomy 6 (ESV)
1 “Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, 2 that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. 3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
“Hear, O Israel”. Thus begins the Shema, an assertion of passionate and exclusive commitment to believe and obey the Lord. In Jesus’ time, every good Jew would recite it as soon as he woke up in the morning and right before he went to bed at night. The Shema is a confession of the heart of Israelite faith and is repeated by Jesus, who calls this “the greatest and first commandment”, to be followed by the second, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself” (Matt 22:34-40). Our faith today begins with our response to the love of God, which elicits our love of others.
If I were to write a mission statement for my life, what would it be? Would it be the Great Commandment or some lesser commandment, or would it even be a commandment at all?
What if the Great Commandment were the mission for my work? How would that change my attitude toward my work and toward the people you work with? What if the Great Commandment were the mission statement for my family? How would that change my attitude toward my loved ones? How would it change how I speak to them and how I treat them?
Give me a mission statement commensurate to my calling. Help me to love you, to passionately love you, with every ounce of energy within me and every resource available to me. Let there be no neutral ground. Let there be no area of my life that’s complacent toward you, let alone rebellious toward you.
Grant that I may be completely yours, so that I can be completely given to your mission of loving a prodigal world so it may come home to your heart, where there is music, feasting and dancing.