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CALL : +685 24414
FAX 20429
5th Floor John Williams Building
Tamaligi, Apia
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CALL : +685 24414
FAX 20429
5th Floor John Williams Building
Tamaligi, Apia

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Monday 19 August
With all your muchness

 

Read Deuteronomy 6:1–22
Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
(verses 4–5)

Deuteronomy 6:4 is called the Shema after its first word, the imperative ‘hear’ (or ‘obey’). Observant Jews traditionally recite this prayer twice a day, and Jesus affirmed it as the greatest commandment (Mark 12:29). The verse affirms that God is ‘one’ (NIVUK), or, translating the Hebrew word differently, ‘alone’ (NRSVA).

Deuteronomy is known, not always positively, for its rigorous monotheism and programme of centralisation. God is to be worshipped in one sanctuary, not many (Deuteronomy 12:2–7). But Deuteronomy is also profoundly holistic and humane. Look at the diversity of ways we are commanded to revere God: keeping the words in our heart, reciting them to our children, talking about or reciting them at home, away from home, when we go to bed and
when we wake up. They are to be a physical sign on our hands and between our eyes. They are to be written on the doorposts of our homes and on our gates (verses 6–9). These ways of remembering God incorporate mental, spiritual and physical acts at home and away from home. Traditionally these verses are associated with Psalm 1:1, and the righteous person who delights in the teaching of the Lord.

Deuteronomy 6 commands far more than mere assent to a creed. It commands us to offer our whole lives to God, to practise what we preach. The word translated ‘might’ in verse 4 is the adverb ‘greatly’ or ‘muchly’, and in this verse one dictionary even translates it with the word ‘muchness’. We are to acknowledge God as one, as our only God, with our ‘muchness’. We might even say, with Psalm 35:10, ‘All my bones shall say, “O Lord, who is like you?”’

† God, help me worship and follow you with all of myself today, wherever I go.