‘Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ He 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 neighbour as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’’ (Luke 10:25-28)
The lawyer who gave Jesus this answer, was quoting the Jewish prayer known as the Shema, after the first word of the prayer in Hebrew, which means ‘Hear…’. This prayer, which Jewish believers recite twice daily, acts like The Lord’s Prayer does for us, setting out the tenets of the Jewish faith: The Lord is one, the Lord is the only God. We are called to love him with all that we are and all that we have. When we want to pray to God, a good place to start is always with the simplest, most comprehensive prayer. Even when we cannot find our own words to speak to God, the Lord’s Prayer gives us all that we need to know, just as the Shema did for this Jewish lawyer.
Revd Ylva Blid-Mackenzie