Loving God, Loving Self – Focus Scripture: Mark 12:30-32 (NRSV)
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second [commandment] is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.
No one has ever seen God’s face, but I visualize God in the faces of my foremothers – my role models, my intercessors, midwives, and nursemaids. I discern God’s presence in the cry of newborn infants, in the red glow of a sunset, in the squawks of the squirrels playing in the front yard. (Yes, squirrels do, indeed, squawk!) All of these images have given me insights into who I am in my relationship with God and others.
Because of all of these things, I see God in myself. I affirm that God loves me with a love that has no limits, no conditions, and can manifest in any form God desires. I believe that God will meet me at my point of need with whatever balm is required to take away my pain. I have concluded that when I love myself with my whole heart, I also love God. And I am able to love my neighbor.
Father/Mother God, thank you for making us in your image. Because you love me, and you have made me like you, I am able to love myself. And I am able to love the God in other people. Amen.