Sermon- Stop! I Say, Matthew 22:37,39 sermons -- Sunday Sermons preaching resources

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Stop! I Say

You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart ... soul ... mind ... You shall love your neighbor as yourself
Matthew 22:34-40

Sermon Topic Commandments

Sermon Week Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 22:37,39


The story is told of a preacher who often did very dramatic things to hold the congregation's attention. For example, once when it came time to say the Lord's Prayer, he uttered the first two words-"Our Father"-then shouted "Stop!" at the top if his voice. He then immediately proceeded to preach a sermon on why it is manifestly dishonest for people to go on with the Lord's Prayer if they are not willing to face the implications of the first two words.

Today's Gospel Text contains a phrase we never should go beyond until we're sure we understand its implications. The phrase reads, "You shall love the Lord your God." "Stop!" I say. Let's stop right here and drink it in. What are the implications of this commandment? How do we manifest our love for God? We communicate this to Him in the experience of prayer, of course. We position ourselves in God's presence and we give thanks that He is a loving God. We thank Him for the gift of life, for the things of life He has given us to possess and enjoy. We thank Him for telling us through Jesus that we are not abandoned on planet earth, and that He is even now Gracing the world and its people, moving us toward the blessed state of fulfillment we need and want. But can we say "thank you Lord, thank you Lord" one thousands times and add "I love you, Lord" ten thousand times, and still not have understood the implications of the command to "love the Lord your God."

The command to love God cannot be understood as long as we make the mistake of regarding the one that follows-"Love your neighbor' '-as a separate command. In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus is asked, "Which commandment of the law is greatest?" And He responds by quoting the Old Testament law of love: First, "You shall love the Lord your God," and second, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." But Jesus has taken us beyond an understanding of the law of love in any chronological way. According [...]

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