“One of the scribes asked Him, ‘What commandment is the foremost of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘You 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. The second is like this, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these’” (Mark 12: 28, 30-31).

Despite the warnings of Jesus, and the freedom the resurrected Christ has afforded us, an alarming number within the faith community continue in their love affair with an old covenant of condemnation and, strangely, consider it the standard for measuring their “religious performance.” It’s a minimalist approach to the life of faith — what’s the least I can do and still have favor with God. Out of this labyrinth of religiosity, Jesus offers a clear and concise word. Of all the commandments (613), the One who came not to abolish but to fulfill the Law, offers a two point synopsis — love God and love your neighbor. These embody every dimension of covenant life in Christ.

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