I love page-a-day calendars. Their pithy observations, either inspirational or comedic, come with a picture and are doled out one per tear-off page. I admire their authors, able to express themselves so succinctly…. and so absolutely unlike me.
One thought per page?! Arriving at your profound point in a maximum of ten or fifteen words?! Who ARE these people?? You know me by now: I have enough trouble arriving safely at my mental destination in a blog post of 500 to 600 words! Can you imagine if I were tasked to write a page a day calendar? Are you serious?! How big would it have to be?! What wall would be strong enough to hold it? It would be so large and weighty that it would rip a hole right in the sheetrock and tumble to the floor.
Last Sunday, the gospel revealed the Pharisees’ demand that Jesus disclose the greatest commandment [Matthew 22:34-40]. Our pastor told us, “They were not interested in the truth, but instead were trying to trip him up,” for the Torah had a staggering 613 laws to govern an observant Jew’s daily behavior. (I immediately recalled my little gold-plated Ten Commandments bracelet I wore as a child, each precept etched upon a thin dangling heart charm. If my bracelet had been the Pharisee version, with 613 charms, my arm would have been too heavy to lift.)
Imagine that: all those laws, all those rules and regulations how to eat and pray and dress and behave. How much simpler and more profound was Jesus’ reply:
You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
“You shall love.” Just one thought, short enough to hold in your heart… or fit upon a single calendar page, no picture needed.