Experiencing God as Love: Care of the Earth
Scripture: Matthew 22:36-40
“‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’”
On this Christmas Eve, we are reminded by these words from Matthew’s gospel that the birth of Jesus changes everything. Not unlike many birth stories, the birth of Jesus really does upend the status quo and any sense of “normal” that we think we understand.
Not only does the arrival of a small infant change everything, but Jesus’ birth gives us the opportunity to understand coherence in our world. When coherence in our lives is present, our hearts rarely argue with our heads. Coherence allows us to live as though everything makes sense. Imagine your heart, your head, and your body all aligned in your day-to-day activities…what would that look like in your life?
Ecosystems are biological, interconnected systems where everything works together. Not only are we part of an ecosystem, but our own bodies and lives are also ecosystems. For example, when we are running ragged around town doing Christmas errands, how likely are we to become ill with a cold and/or forget the reason we even celebrate Christmas?
When our ecosystems are not aligned, when there is an imbalance in our lives, coherence is hard to achieve. But the good news of Christmas is that Jesus’ birth turns the world upside down…and resets the standard for what it means to have coherence in our lives.
Matthew’s words remind us that our hearts, our souls, and our minds….when they are aligned with one another in loving God and loving our neighbor…provide a way to understand God’s love in our lives because Jesus’s birth gives us an opportunity to hit the reset button. God does not call us to be a people of imbalance but rather a people who love with our hearts, our minds, and our souls. Jesus’ birth gives us a chance to look for love, be loved, and love others as we recognize how the ecosystems of our lives can be balanced and rooted in love.
Dear God of Love, we praise you for your loving presence in our lives. We lift our hearts in gratitude because you have loved us and we, now, can love all who are looking for balance in their hearts, minds, and souls. Bless your children as we continue to love. Amen.