Hear, O Israel! Love the Lord your God with all our heart and with you all soul and with all your strength. Listen to Moses when he’s talking to you!
Named for the first word in the phrase, Shema is a central creed for the Hebrew Jewish community, calling for ultimate allegiance to the one true God among all the other gods we entertain. It’s a call to obedience for the sake of realizing and witnessing to the fullness of life that God intends for all.
This obedience is inspired by the God who loves us enough to keep promises like leading Hebrews into the Promised Land and the Son of God giving his own life in full confidence of that God of love would abide with him still. By witness of his resurrection, those who believe in him are inspired to obedient love just the same.
Like marks on our hands and emblems on our foreheads, the lives of saints before us strengthen our commitment to that love.
Among the saints at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, the Lord meant so much to Bernard Bowman that he dedicated his life the research and teaching of microbiology at OSU
for the sake of discover immunizations to help improve the lives of others.
The Lord meant so much to Marilyn Sprengel who once told me that she never chose to join any one church women’s group in particular because, in her regard of all, she didn’t want to be perceived as choosing one group over another.
The Lord meant so much to Ursula Knodt that she always insisted on assisting a fly or bee or bat out of the house rather that harm one of God’s creatures great and small.
And the Lord meant so much to Marilyn Raidt that she kept one of the most verdant backyard gardens in the Columbus area (and I mean every inch of her backyard on Ashland Road in Grandview) where she provided gracious hospitality and family, neighbors and garden clubs alike.
Thanks be to God for these saints and all the others in your lives who inspire us following their ways where God and others mean more than anything else.