“The teacher of the Law said, ‘… to love God with all your heart …and to love your neighbour as yourself, is more important than to offer animals and other sacrifices to God’”.
Mk 12:33 GNB
It is possible to get deeply involved in the activities of a church and to miss the vitally important element of loving God. Some people “fall in love with the church” – or with the minister! Many of the activities are interesting and even engrossing. Some people even develop secondary ambitions to become important within the structures, committees, and minor power-struggles within the body. Denominational bodies can claim big amounts of peoples’ time. And Jesus, or people, can get relegated to minor importance. It is easy to forget that it’s all about loving God and other people.
Offering animal sacrifices played a large part in the religion of the Israelites. An elaborate system of sacrifices grew up with regulations for all the different kinds of sacrifice. These regulations had to be observed to the last detail. The teachers of the Law and the priests had these sacrifices as their special preserve. The man who came to see what Jesus thought about the all-embracing law knew that under it all there was something deeply spiritual. There was more to it than “playing religious games”. Supreme in it all was the one really big thing – loving God and loving other people. The scribes and other teachers often engaged in debates with each other asking each other what they thought was the one big law en- compassing all the other rules and regulations.
Be careful you don’t lose sight of this great teaching. Study Christianity as much as you can. Serve in your church with dedication. But never lose sight of the greatest thing of all.
Lord, help me to keep in view your great commandment.