"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind." Mt. 22:37.
Continuing the series, LOVE GOD, LOVE ALL, a consideration of Heart and Soul leads to a look at our passions and our actions.
I remind you that our westernized ears hear the word 'heart' in a completely different way than the lawyer Jesus was addressing would have heard 'heart'. For us, 'heart' raises images of Valentine's Day greetings or of a four-chambered internal organ. For our lawyer friend heart indicated the seat of passions in his life. Literally his guts. You've had those moments when you got so fired up about something that your innards got involved. This is the very kind of thing Jesus is indicating should be our response to God. To love him with all of our heart.
I believe that we are victims of misplaced passions. We are more passionate about the music style in church than we are about the Master's status. We are more passionate about our comfort level than we are about our commitment level. We can get more passionate about carpet color in the church than we are about people of color in the church. We are more passionate about tradition than we are about transformation. In short I believe that our passions, those things we truly get fired up about, are out of place. Jesus points us back to the one thing we are to be passionate about - our love for God.
It's time we get our passions right. This is decidedly difficult in a culture that demands we be passionate about so many empty and temporal things. However, it is possible. I remind you that the commandment is an imperative statement, a direct order with the expectation of obedient response. Take stock of those things that you are passionate about and offer them all to the ONE we are to be passionate about.