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Friday, December 5, 2008

Not Far From the Kingdom

So the scribe said to Him, "Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." (Mark 12:32-34 NKJV)

My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory...
O God, You are my God.
(Psalms 63:1-2 NKJV)

"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12 NKJV)

My marriage began as a long distance relationship. I remember that time as consumed with thoughts of my beloved, staggering phone-bills (no unlimited long-distance in those days), embarrassingly effusive love-letters—and agony in separation.

To love God with all the heart is to be consumed with thoughts of Him, incessantly chattering with Him about anything and everything in the heart, writing effusively of Him and reveling in His love letter—and agony in separation. It is a life in two worlds, on the threshold between heaven and earth, in a mysterious place not far from the kingdom, yet where the kingdom is within.

To be in love with God is to be rendered helpless to do anything less than love neighbor as self. And the greatest gift one might share with neighbor is a glimpse of the kingdom, a beckoning to come stand on the threshold.

Lord, how can one not help but be in love with You? Your holiness is beautiful. Your goodness has no limit. Your wisdom is unfathomable. Your power is terrifyingly awesome. Your promises are sure. Your mercy exceeds Your great justice. Your grace is amazing. Your love defies the power of words.

Feedback invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2008, Anne Lang Bundy

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