Today’s Bible readings can be found here: Genesis 45:16-28 & Mark 12:18-34.

Mark 12:33 “To love God with all your heart, with all your understanding, and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

One of my favorite groups from the Seventies was a band called ‘Lindisfarne.’ They had some great hits and their best album (yes, I am that old) was called ‘Fog on the Tyne.’ I recently added the album to my playing list from Amazon and listening to it took me back to those wonderful days of my High School years.

In my opinion, one of the best tracks on the album is called ‘January Song,’ which is about how we all need one another, no matter who we are, what age we have become, or where we live. The lyrics contain a very simple verse, which still speaks to me today:

‘And love is such a small word
For something that is so vast,
But in it lies the future
The present and the past.’

When Jesus was having a conversation with the teacher of the law in today’s Gospel story (Mark 12:28-34), I think He was trying to convey something similar. Christ was impressed by what the law teacher said in reply to His statement about the Greatest Commandment. The cleric appeared to completely understand what Jesus was expressing. Love of God and loving one another are meant to be combined – it is such a small requirement, and yet it contains everything that we truly need to live faithful, meaningful, and joyful lives on Earth.

Point to ponder:

How many people do I truly love? How does that love include God and make the world a better place?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we all need Your love and need to learn to love everyone. We want to make a difference in our lives, so help us to spread Your love wherever we can and with all whom we meet this day. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

If you would like to listen to Lindisfarne’s ‘January Song,’ you can do so at this YouTube link:

Today’s image is the album cover from Lindisfarne’s ‘Fog on the Tyne.’

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.