The great commandment given to us in the Bible, both the Old Testament and New Testament, is to love the Lord our God with our whole being (Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Matthew 22:37-38). When the Jewish people of the Old Testament first heard these words, they were told to teach and remember them in various ways, one of which was to write them on their doorposts and gates.
Why post the great commandment on the doorposts and gates? Doors and gates are places of transition, entering and exiting to new contexts and relationships. Coming home to those they lived with required entering a door. Going out to interact with the world of work, community, culture, and other people, required exiting through a door. When they entered and exited their doors and gates they saw the word of the Lord, reminding them that he was their God and they were his people. This covenant relationship was to guide their whole life.
Today, we need reminders of who we are and how we are called to live when we engage with others. A new kind of doorway we enter and exit is the keyboard on our computers and smartphones. We can work, shop, be entertained, and engage in conversations about our culture without actually walking through a door. We do these things by typing and swiping. So where do we post the word of the Lord as we make transitions into new contexts and relationships?
The Jewish people were also told to write the great commandment on their hearts. Posts on doorposts are physical reminders of words written on the heart.
As followers of Jesus, we can (and some of us should) post the word of the Lord on our computer screens to remind us of what is written in our hearts. We are the Lord’s people and we have new hearts. We see the world differently than we used to see it. We engage for a new purpose driven by a desire for the glory of Christ and the good of others. We know that we have been saved by grace through faith, and we want this message to land well on people who hear it. These things need to be posted in our hearts before we begin to type.
While reading James 1 to prepare for the sermon this Sunday, I stopped at verse 19: “My dear brothers and sisters, you must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” (NLT). I was reminded that this verse needs to be posted in our hearts and on our doorways, on our steering wheels and keyboards, on our dinner tables and in our bedrooms, at office desks and at checkout counters, and everywhere we interact with others as followers of Jesus.
Think on these things this weekend. And pray for Grace Community Church.