Posts from January 2024

Posts from January 2024

Mind body soul

Everything God Has Made Us

When we think of the “soul,” we’re probably thinking of the non-physical aspect of our existence, the “real me” that lives on when the body dies. And while it’s true that our life in God is not bound only to our bodies, it’s also true that we get this concept of “soul” more from the Greek philosopher Plato than from Moses, Jesus, or anyone else in the Bible. Plato taught that our present experience of life, the world around us…
Asphalt road in autumn forest at sunrise and road sign


The Shema begins by calling us into silence, that we may hear, and then into our confession that God is one, that the LORD only is worthy of our devotion. So what comes next follows pretty logically. “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart.” If God is one, then so shall our love be one, not splintered into many loves, but unified and moved solely toward our one God. The rest of Deuteronomy reiterates this commandment,…
a small pile of broken glass lying on the asphalt


The Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-5; “Shema” being the Hebrew word for “hear”) and Deuteronomy as a whole anticipate that once the Israelites move into the promised land, the temptation to idolatry will be a regular struggle. And so it is in The Shema, the daily prayer and greatest commandment according to Jesus, gets us in the habit of saying, “Hear, O Israel. The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.” It’s a way of building up immunity to idolatry. If The…
Closeup shot of open page with the fifth book of moses called deuteronomy text

His Answer Begins with “Listen”

Hear, O Israel. The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. This comes from Deuteronomy 6 and is both a commandment and prayer typically referred to as the “Shema” (Hebrew for “hear”/”listen”). In Matthew 22 and Mark 12, Jesus is asked point blank what the first and greatest commandment of Jewish law is, what the most important thing in the…
Chest X-ray

Already Praying

The life of prayer can be intimidating, but it’s not meant to be. “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Jesus speaks these words to those he knows have been burdened by religion. Faith has been…