Monday, December 30, 2019


One of my friends is a doctor.  He has been drifting into the holistic medicine realm because he believes that caring for the whole body and mind will yield the best care for his patients.  While I don't buy in to all he recommends, I do agree that looking at the big picture and seeing the whole person is a good thing.  This brings us to a very Biblical and holistic concept.  It is found in the Hebrew idea of God and in Jesus' affirming the Greatest Commandment.  Both of these ideas are highlighted in the 6th Chapter of Deuteronomy.  "Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord, is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength (Deut. 6:4-5)."

The 1st part of this passage is called the Shema.  It is one of the holiest and most foundational statements in Jewish thought because it encompasses the idea of the oneness of God.  God is not many things.  God is not all of our little compartments,  God is not fragmented.  God is not confused by the complex little parts we try to fit together and call it life.  Because, in Jewish thought (affirmed by Deuteronomy 30:20) "the Lord IS your life."  The Shema is to be carried, worn, posted on the doorframes of houses ... ever present and ever before us.  It is a great place to begin the new year.

The 2nd part of this passage from Deuteronomy 6 is what Jesus called the Greatest Commandment.  It is a beautiful expression of what God desires from us and what we owe to a God who loves and sustains us.  It says we are to love God with all we have and all we are.  God says 1) invest your life completely, 2) give me free reign in all of the parts of your life, 3) like the unity of the Trinity, I want you to be one beautifully-complex person.

I can't think of a better way to begin a new year!  When my vacuum cleaner got all filled with cat hair (go figure) the motor got too hot.  I had to clean it out ... get rid of all of the obstructions ... purge the dust balls ... clean out the filter ... let it cool down and push the reset button.  My life gets all clogged with things that don't belong.  I get anxious ... I worry ... I let the fear of the future and the failures of the past become present realities.  God says ... "Get rid of that stuff!  Let me help you clean out the junk.  Let me lead you so that your heart, soul and strength are spent on a worthwhile pursuit ,,, the one, complete God.  Knock down the walls.  And let's get busy ... I want you closer to me and I want others to be brought closer because they know you and Me through you!"

How's that for a plan to begin our new year?  And let's learn, love and live together.  God's plan is perfect and good.  Hey ... we've tried our way ... let's try God and see if Deuteronomy 30:20 is true .. "The Lord IS your life!"  AMEN

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