Bethlehem Lutheran Church

37000 Union Lake Rd, Harrison Twp., MI 48045
(586) 791-3030

Spiritual Matters

The Shema (continued)

Posted by bethlehemlutheran on March 20, 2012 at 3:20 PM

The Shema (Deuteronomy 6: 4-9) states that there is only one god, the God of Israel. That is the God that Jesus, as a Jew, loved and served. That is the God that we, as followers of Jesus, also love and serve. Both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament call us to love God completely, body, mind and spirit (soul).

What does it mean to love God with our souls? Although the word is used in a variety of ways in Scripture, most people think of our souls (or spirits, as used by some) as our true selves, our internal being, that part of ourselves that will live on after death. As such, it is linked in some way to consciousness, although some scientists would dispute this, believing consciousness to be purely a product of brain function—no brain, no consciousness, and, therefore, no soul. Christians disagree, but realize that the relationship between mind and soul, or spirit, is difficult to sort out. It’s as if there is a bridge between the physical world and the spiritual world, and traffic flows in both directions. The mind carries news of the physical world to the soul, and the soul carries news of God to the mind. Loving God with all one’s mind then becomes using spiritual understanding to bring one’s activities in the physical world ever more into line with God’s will, and loving God with all one’s soul is using the lessons learned by living in the physical world to deepen and enrich one’s response to God.

Blessings for your Lenten journey,

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