Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment…second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

~Matthew 22:37-39, NRSV


The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

~Stephen R. Covey

I’m reading through Jeremiah in the REB and it is fascinating reading. Jeremiah suffered more than Job in many respects. He never got to marry or have a family. He bought a farm but never got to set a foot on it. He was unappreciated, hated by his own home town, despised, imprisoned, put into a pit of mud up to his shoulders and then forced to go to Egypt where the belligerent and obstinate Jews finally stoned him to death. I don’t think anyone would want to trade places with Jeremiah. If you read chapters 6-9 of Jeremiah, you will see the problem.

These hard headed Jews had: [1] No respect for God nor His word. Jeremiah said, “Their ears are blocked, they are incapable of listening: God’s word has no appeal to them.” [2] They were liars--truth has perished from the land. [3] They cheated and defrauded each other and their wealth was ill-gotten. [4] They were crooked in their business dealings and took advantage of the helpless and the poor. They had no problem with prospering at their brother’s expense. [5] They were very religious but they had no relationship to Yahweh–they were a nation of idol chasers.

In chapter seven, verses five through seven, we find an oft repeated refrain: For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly act justly one with another, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, then I will dwell with you in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your ancestors forever and ever.

Basically, they were doing two things wrong: they did not love God nor put Him first and they did not love their neighbor. They put themselves before others–giving no mercy or showing no compassion on their fellowman. They were no different in Jesus day. It has taken me almost a life time to understand what Jesus was saying above {Matthew 22:37-39} but a few years ago, it finally sunk in. There are two things I want to get right: Love Jesus with all my heart and love my neighbor as much as I love myself. This simplifies everything. Jesus told the young lawyer who stated the two great commands above… “Do this and you will live.”

Morgan County is up to 37 reported cases of the Covid-19. This means an increase of one per day for the last week. I am not a doctor but I think the gradual increase is good news. An exponential increase would not be good news.

Hey, it is always cool at Easter. LORD willing we will do DRIVE-IN church tomorrow. May His will be done.

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