Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sh'ma, Yisrae'al

I have often heard that being in love makes you a better person. Being in love is not something I can claim right now, but I can claim to love deeply. As Valentine's Day came and went this year, I chose to look at it with a new perspective. Instead of focusing on my singleness, which can be difficult with all my friends getting engaged, I chose to remember this time as a gift and be thankful that though the Lord hasn't chosen to bring that special guy into my life yet, I can celebrate and bask and get excited about the love lavished on me by the One who calls me His Beloved. That is so amazing to me, gives me butterflies, and a deep sense of contentment and joy. I forgot I was single this year and instead celebrated this day with the family that God has given me to love deeply and focused on the love of my Father.

In thinking about Valentine's Day and this month spent seeing red and pink teddy bears in stores and the chocolate factories mass producing tiny Dove chocolates with Martha Stewart tips to a better Vday experience, I remembered something that we learned last summer and began every morning standing and saying aloud. It is found in Deuteronomy 6 in the Bible which is also one of the five books comprising the Jewish Torah. Jews say this prayer twice a day as both a commemoration and a benediction. And the words are SO powerful! This is God's love statement with His people. It shows His ownership of them, of us, His promise and His desire for a relationship with us. In the same way a husband and wife share the most intimate moments of life physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually...we are to do this with our First Love, Jesus Christ.

This is humbling to say with a group of believers and realize this is what the Lord Jesus said every morning and evening to His Father. We learned it in both Hebrew and English and I will place both below. Take time and thank Him for this amazing love promise and promise it back to Him! It is not to be taken lightly, will be a struggle, but will be something so beautiful and so worth it!

Sh'ma Yisrae'al
Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad
Ve'havta et Adonai Elohecha
Be'chol lava'cha
uve'chol nafsch'cha
uve'chol me'odecha
Ve'havta reyacha kamocha

Hear, Oh Israel,
The Lord our God, the Lord is One.
Love the Lord your God with all of your HEART,
and with all of your SOUL
and with all of your STRENGTH.
Love your neighbor as yourself.

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