Friday Week 3 of Lent

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind—and your neighbour as yourself.”
Love! It is almost a love story itself, this little snippet—the scribe with all his hopes intent on Jesus. Jesus himself with that response burning from his opening heart. And then our scribe’s tumbling, wide-eyed, delighted words agreeing, echoing, piling on top of Jesus own. And we can even, perhaps, hear in Jesus’ final affirmation a certain un-looked for awe at what has come to pass between them. Two hearts, two souls, two minds caught up in a single love.
“Yes to love him with all our heart, with all our thoughts and with all our strength, and to love our neighbours as ourselves is worth more than any Lenten sacrifice!”
That’s all right for these star-crossed lovers but what of us—we whose desire hardly ever approaches the ardent intensity of the love these two find focused between them—and when our love does manage to flash and flame is it ever un-hedged, impartial, unencumbered, and unashamed? What of us? If Lent is a love story what of us?
And I do mean us. That question is not just about “me and Jesus,” not something private between you and your God. This is about theology. Are we not scribes and scribes in training? Is that scribe’s question not our own—“what is at the heart of all these words, words ,words about God?” This is about theology. This is about the very possibility of theology at all. For when those others, standing by, witnessed the words passing back and forth between Jesus and the scribe … “no one had the courage to ask him any more questions.”
If we don’t know how to love—love God, love Jesus, ourselves, our neighbour—how will we ever find the courage to ask God any more questions? Where will we find the courage to do theology?