Sermon Notes: 4th Before Advent, Year B

Text: Mark 12:28-34

In many Churches you can find the 10 Commandments displayed behind or beside the altar. In the BCP Holy Communion they shape our confession, and although they are fundamental, they are not the last word of the Law or Torah

In addition to the 10 Commandments were 613 Commands within the Torah, amounting to more than 365 Prohibitions.

It is always wrong to think of our faith as being made out of prohibitions. Although many are expressed in a negative sense, the 10 commandments are more about God enabling us to positively live in the life he intended for us.

So these 10 Commandments, 613 Commands, 365 Prohibitions can be boiled down to 2 Prime Directives focused on 1 God

There are times when less is definitely more…

Love the Lord

The Shema is a declaration of faith (qv Sha’hada in Arabic as the Muslim declaration of faith – there is no God but God [and Mohammed is his prophet)

Love your Neighbour

The practical working out of the Shema.

This enables us to focus on God

Focus on God

  • Private Prayer
  • Sacramental Confession
  • Public Worship
  • Study of God’s Word

Focus on People

  • Befriend the afflicted
  • Uphold the troubled
  • Reach out to the marginalised
  • Build the kingdom

The second commandment is a fulfilment of the first one

The second cannot happen without the first.

The commandments are based on love – love of God and love of neighbour and are fulfilled by the outpouring of love on the cross. Christ is the supreme example of love in action. We are not coerced into these commandments, but loved.

We are called to follow that love, follow that example and be enabled, empowered, freed to love radically…

…as radically as God loves us.

Amen