Mothers’ Union Devotion Sunday 31st October 2021

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. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6. 4-7

This greatest of commandments to love the Lord your God was given to the Israelites as they wandered through the wilderness. A commandment re-affirmed by Jesus will the addition of – and to love your neighbour as yourself. It is in the Deuteronomy version, however, that we find the call to recite these words to your children. To talk about them when you are at home and when you are away. I wonder if this is something that comes easily to us.

Many of our projects within the Mothers’ Union demonstrate the second part of the commandment given by Jesus. We are really good at showing that we love our neighbours as ourselves. Really good at identifying those neighbours as people in need, people on the margins of our society. And we do this because we well and truly follow the call to Love the Lord our God. Maybe we are not so confident these days at following the call to teach others that the first and most important commandment is to – Love the Lord.

Our generation finds itself living in a very different world from that of our founder Mary Sumner. We have much more contact with those of other faiths. And the number of people who would describe themselves as an atheist is rapidly growing. It is often these people who are most anti-faith and who can make us feel afraid of speaking out about the call to Love the Lord. Mary Sumner’s call was for us to teach the next generation about the love of God and about our imperative to Love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and might. It is difficult at times to speak so openly about our faith, but such words are what differentiates us from other secular organisations which provide support to families in our communities. So, I encourage you when you are there supporting families, sharing the love of Jesus with your neighbour, tell them why – because you love the Lord your God when you are at home, when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise.

With all my love and Prayers

Revd Sandra