Anita | Mathias Christ’s Great Golden Triad to Guide Our Actions and Decisions Anita Mathias: Dreaming Beneath the Spires

Andrei Rublev, The Trinity

Here’s a  meditation on Matthew 22: 34-40.  Do press the green button to listen.

So, an expert in the Mosaic law, a Pharisee, tests Jesus: “Teacher,

which is the greatest commandment in the law?” A mined field,

a trap, for the question implied: “And which of the 613 commands

in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, is less important?”

And Christ’s to-the-point, simple, incisive words distil the law’s

multitudinous “thou shalls” and “thou shalt nots,” into one radiant

word from the Torah, which bathes everything in golden light. Love.

Love God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all

your mind, Jesus quotes Deuteronomy. This is the great and first,

the megale and protos commandment, he says. For in worshipping God,

our souls find surrender, peace, direction, and joy. A rightness!

But we live among people. And so, Jesus gave us a second

commandment, quoting an obscure verse from Leviticus, “You shall

love your neighbour as yourself,” (he uses the koine Greek words,

agape, generous concern, and plesion, those near or close by). Or,

as Jesus puts it in his Golden Rule “In everything, do to others

what you would have them do to you” (which somehow seems

more doable!). On these two commandments, these two hinges

of love, Jesus says, all the law and the prophets hang–a quarter

of the Bible! And, indeed, our own lives and this world would

be far sweeter if we treated others as we wish to be treated. So

much dishonesty, sharp speech, and unkindness would be eliminated;

we would not sow bitter seeds, and our harvests would be blessed.

And so, a golden triangle to guide our lives and decisions: Love

God first, for He, who created this universe and you, and who

Loves you, dream-giver, dream-granter, is worthy of your love. Love

yourself, treating yourself with kindness; don’t push or berate yourself

nor neglect your physical, spiritual, or mental health. And treat

people as gently and considerately as you would wish to be treated.

This triangle is Jesus’ brilliant summary of the law and the prophets.

Love God as Jesus did, waking very early while it was still dark

to chat with his father; love yourself as Jesus loved himself, maintaining

his physical, spiritual and emotional strength through time alone, hiking

and praying in gardens, in the desert, by rivers, and on mountains. Love

people as Jesus did, sharing a plentiful meal he created from a few loaves,

cooking fish for his disciples, bringing healing through his presence,

his faith, his words. This great golden triad is a compass for our lives.

Love. Of God, of those close to us, and of our own selves. Amen.

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