4th day of Lent

Today, I am off to officiate at a wedding. As of this moment I am still wondering what to say for the “meditation.” Something about love, of course. But that word “love” is so over-used, under-used and inappropriately used. It’s become a cover for likes and lusts and interests of the moment.

Does love God = love brownies? Of course not. Then again, maybe for some of us 🙂

But maybe it is human nature to make of “love” a weary word. So the ancient people of God tried to qualify how to love God: with all your heart-soul-strength. (Deuteronomy 6:4) Jesus picked up on that and added “mind” to the list of how to love God. This kind of love takes on an energy and enthusiasm, a concentration and focus. But all my heart, soul, mind, strength?

I’ll have to beat this love down into things to do. That’s when this kind of love could wear me out. That’s when this kind of all-out love makes God sound impossibly demanding, even selfish.

Oh dear, so now I’ve gone from loving God with the appetite of brownie love to loving God with heart-soul-mind-strength that would drain me dry. Well, I don’t buy into either.

It’s dangerous to try to write about something like this, but it has exposed two opposite pitfalls of our Lenten discipline to memorize Mark 12:29-31. First, I could possibly hear and live these words on a very superficial level, in which case it will ultimately not make one bit of difference that I ever learned these words by heart. Or secondly, with well-meaning ardor, I could reduce these words into a list of projects to do for God…what Lutherans often call “works righteousness.” I call it exhausting.

Where do I go from here? I’ll think on it overnight. I’ve got to get ready for a wedding.