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"Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself." - Leviticus 19:18

Which is the greatest commandment? 

For thousands of years, people have struggled to understand what is most important to God and how to become closest to God. The Old Testament is filled with promises, covenants, and commandments all with the intent to bring people closer to him. Its no surprise then that Jesus was asked which of the commandments is the greatest. 
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And 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 this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” -Mark 12:28-31

Interestingly, Jesus doesn't pick one commandment. Instead, Jesus quotes Deuteromony 6:5 (the Shema), you should love your God with all that you are; and then he quotes Leviticus 19:18, you should love your neighbor as yourself. But there is a good chance that Jesus would have translated these verses into Aramaic, Jesus' first language. He told the 

teachers of the law you should rakhmah God and rakhmah your neighbor. Mark is unique in two ways in this telling: he includes the Shema, and he praises the lawyer. Matthew, conversely, berates the teachers of the Law's and calls them blind. John focuses on how Jesus' disciples should be different than other sects and groups: their love for one another. Luke explores the definition of a neighbor with the Parable of the Good Samaritan. But through all these Gospels, "love" is the key point. 

Fortunately, Jesus not only used his words, he used his actions. When the early disciples were spreading the good news about Jesus, they allowed the actions of Jesus's life to redefine "love". It didn't matter what language they used, ahavah or rakhmah or agape. Love is complicated and complex regardless of the word you use. Perhaps that is why the love that Jesus spoke about is so impactful because he lived it. He sought out the poor, the sick, the shunned and, sometimes, forgotten members of society. He helped them knowing full well that they would not be able to return the favor. May we be able to spread that kind of love into our homes, communities, and the far reaches of the globe! Amen.
Grace and Peace,
Natalie Claytor
We're launching a new Youth Group Online. For grades 6th-12th. Email to RSVP and get the Zoom link. 
You can also Text 419-607-3140
Family Event! Join us for a photo scavenger hunt for all things Valentine! Every child will receive a goody bag and a take-home packet about Lent: Season of Love.
Sunday School will be taking a break until January 31st. If you would like to be connected with a class, email to sign up! Until we start up again, dig into the Bible through these lessons at home.

Adult Sunday class will still be meeting at 9:30 am in the Fellowship Hall.
PreK - 1st Grade Lesson
2nd - 5th Grade Lesson
6th - 8th Grade Lesson
9th - 12th Grade Lesson
Enjoy some activity sheets to do at home! If you cannot print out at home, please call the church office and we would be happy to print them out for you to pick up!
Office: 513-752-1333           Hours: 10 am - 4 pm M-F
PreK - 1st Grade Activity
2nd - 5th Grade Activity
6th - 8th Grade Activity
9th - 12th Grade Activity
There will be six self-guided, meditation stations. Pastor Kerry will be there to give you an imposition of ashes on your hand using a cotton swab. Doug Heflin, our pianist, will provide a musical atmosphere for meditation and contemplation. Click on the picture to register you and/or your family.
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Mt Moriah UMC
681 Mt Moriah Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45245

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