Today is the Last Sunday after Trinity. Today’s reading from Matthew’s Gospel concludes the final round of conflict between Jesus and the religious authorities before the Passion. Jesus was challenged by three test questions designed to stir up political controversy (about paying taxes to Rome), theological controversy (about the resurrection of the dead), and legal controversy (about the Law of God). In reply to the third test question (which commandment is greatest), Jesus cites two texts from the Old Testament. This answer sums up the centrality of love within the Christian Gospel: love for God and love for others. The Christian concept of love, however, is far from simple and may take a lifetime of discipleship to develop.
For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during the preceding week, I invited reflection on the image of feeling loved. In today’s picture from his book, The Windy Day, Teddy Horsley is feeling loved and safe.
Lord Jesus Christ,
you show unfailing love to your people.
Teach us to love you
with all our heart,
with all our soul,
and with all our mind,
that we may walk with you
all the days of our lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Next Sunday is celebrating All Saints’ Day when the Gospel reading presents the beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount. The image to help prepare for this theme is signposts. You can find out more about that theme by looking at the Educational Resources and the Preparation Resources.