Mark 12:28-34 – Which commandment is the first of all?

Mark 12:28-34

28One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘”he is one, and besides him there is no other’; 33and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’-this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question.

  • Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
  • Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
  • As you bring your attention to your breath, repeat the two commandments: 29Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
  • Allow these commandments to be showered upon you.
  • First, You shall love God with all heart, with all soul and with all strength.
  • As this covers you, where do you notice this commandment in your body?
  • What freedom do you feel?  Is there any tension?
  • Take note of both.
  • Move to the second commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
  • As this covers you, where do you  notice this commandment in your body?
  • What freedom do you feel?  Is there any tension?
  • What is the same or different for you in the two commandments?
  • What is God’s message for you?
  • Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
  • Share as you feel led in the reply box below.

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, November 4, 2012, the Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

Ruth 1:1-18
Psalm 146:1-10
Hebrews 9:11-14
Mark 12:28-34

If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD

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About Lil Smith

My simple life… is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I let God lead me. I have been married to Greg for 26 years and we have three wonderful children. My simple life is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I let God take control. I followed God’s call to begin seminary at Perkins School of Theology in January 2006. I graduated in May 2011. My life is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I listen for God’s call. I began the Degree in the Art of Spiritual Direction at San Francisco Theological Seminary in January 2009. I graduated in May 2011. My life is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I listen for God's call. I was ordained in the Presbyterian Church USA and spent three amazing years in Pastoral Ministry at Highland Springs Senior Living in Dallas, TX. My life is not simple at all. Yet it is so simple when I listen for God's call. My passion is the Christian Spiritual Life. As a spiritual director and retreat leader, I am so blessed to hear how God is at work in the world. How is God at work in your life?
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