“Omg. LOVE.” When a thumbs-up “like” is not enough, “LOVE” is what we write under a friend’s Facebook picture of her puppy. Love means “extreme like,” right?

But what if it’s more? Jesus makes love the core of his message, the key that unlocks everything else.

What if the love he speaks of is more than your momentary preferences? What if the love he speaks of is a choice? What if it’s harder than the love the world speaks of, but also bigger?

What if that kind of love is the only thing that can ever change us?

Maybe that love begins with an earnest look toward heaven, the sincere words on our lips: “Oh. My God.”

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These words that I am commanding you today must always be on your minds. Recite them to your children. Talk about them when you are sitting around your house and when you are out and about, when you are lying down and when you are getting up. Tie them on your hand as a sign. They should be on your forehead as a symbol. Write them on your house’s doorframes and on your city’s gates.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9

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Flash tattoos or inked. Preppy or artsy. Vegan or omnivore. Rubber bracelets or high-end bangles. Ear candy and nose-piercings and designer labels. Whether flashy or subtle, we brand ourselves. What do you stand for? How do you express it?

Moses tells the Israelites, “This is our message: Love God completely.”

“Wear it and share it,” he says. Tell it to your children. Talk about it at home and when you’re out, when you relax and when you wake up. String it around your wrist and stamp it on your forehead. Post it on your locker, your Instagram, your Snapchat, and your heart.

Love the One who made you. Love the ones God made. 

Speak it. Savor it. Engrave it on your mind.

Cari Pattison

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God of love, give me the courage and resolve to let your love be the main message of my life. Give me the boldness to share it in a winsome, contagious way. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Go now into the world
carried in the arms of love,
emboldened by the voice of love,
and sheltered under the wings of love.

Go now into a world
enslaved to a false love,
desperate for a word of love,
and more open than you can imagine to the God of love.

Cari Pattison

Cari Pattison graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary and has served for eight years as the Associate Minister for The Reformed Church of Bronxville, a congregation just north of New York City. Originally from Kansas City, Cari fiercely loves the Royals (baseball), along with her family of Mom, Dad, and brothers. She teaches fitness classes and yoga and is presently on study leave—a fellowship through Sarah Lawrence College’s Writing Institute.

Ken Medema

Callings: Be Thou My Vision

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