The lawyer answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with
all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with
all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” – Luke 10:27 (NRSV)
Who taught you to love God with all your mind?
Perhaps it was a Sunday school teacher who transformed her classroom into the Bethlehem stable during Advent and an upper room in Jerusalem for Lent. Maybe a youth leader’s enthusiasm for the Bible opened its mystery and compassion in ways you’ve never forgotten.
Perhaps your high school biology teacher taught you such love when he taught you to use a microscope and you saw a hidden world for the first time. Maybe a college professor adjusted the settings on her telescope to show you the heavens and a glimpse of “the Love that moves the sun and all the stars,” as Dante wrote.
It could have been the music teacher who first placed your fingers on an instrument or the choral director who unlocked the secrets of notes and lines. The teaching assistant whose feedback on a seminary paper encouraged you to keep writing.
Perhaps, like the man who questioned Jesus, you are a lawyer. Someone nurtured your love for order, logic, and due process, and those became ways to love God and others.
As the school year ends and the graduation season begins, may we remember such teachers. If they’ve passed on, offer up a prayer of thanks. If they’re still in this life, write them a note. As Jesus reminded the lawyer, whoever taught us to love God with all our minds opened us to the mystery called eternity.
God of infinite wisdom and mystery beyond all knowledge, thank you for those who open our minds to you and to your world. Amen.
Talitha Arnold is Senior Minister of the United Church of Santa Fe (UCC), Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is the author of Mark Part 1 and Mark Part 2,of the Listen Up! Bible Study series and Worship for Vital Congregations.