As a Lenten practice during this season, clergy and leaders in the church from youth to elders will be sharing their devotions.
Scripture: Deuteronomy 4-6
Key verses: (Deut 6:4-5) “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.
Reflection: “Would you please LISTEN?!?!” How many times did we hear that as children? How many times have we said it as parents? Usually when that phrase was uttered it not only meant that the recipient listen to what was being said but to listen AND obey. Deuteronomy 6:4-5 are the opening lines of the Shema, which is an ancient Hebrew prayer that is repeated daily as part of traditional Jewish prayer practice. Translated from Hebrew, “Shema” means to both listen and obey. In Deuteronomy, God doesn’t ask us to just listen to His words, but to hear them, understand them, and then respond to them.
So as Christians, how can we respond to words used in an ancient Jewish prayer during Lent? That is found in verse 5, which Jesus later teaches as the Great Commandment: Love your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. To LOVE (action verb) God as the Lord alone and with our entire being. To not only love God by following the laws given to us in God’s ancient covenant, but to take the opportunity to deepen our relationship with God thru the Son Jesus Christ during this Lenten season.
Prayer: Lord, our God alone, open our ears to hear your Word and to respond to your grace with faith, love and obedience. Help us to grow closer to you, and your son Jesus Christ, during this season of Lent. Amen.
Author: Bryan Brooks, Elder class of 2021
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].